Pawlenty provides 'pre-buttal' to Obama's Saturday visitby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — With President Obama due in Minneapolis Saturday to talk about health care reform, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty held a news conference this afternoon to highlight Minnesota's health care system.
Pawlenty has been a frequent critic of Obama's effort. He said he hopes any federal legislation will focus on reducing costs before it attempts to expand access to health care.
"As we look to models for providing assistance to people who are not able to fully afford their health care or their health insurance themselves, we need to be careful about embracing models as they currently exist in the publicly subsidized health care models in Minnesota," Pawlenty said.
Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature have said the governor has done little to improve health care in Minnesota.
"In spite of the fact that these public agencies have been in office for seven years, the only proposals the governor has ever made to contain costs in our public programs has been to cut eligibility, to cut services and to cut payment levels to providers," DFL Sen. Linda Berglin said.
Berglin said President Obama's plan will provide health insurance to those without it and control costs for those who are covered.