Minnesota opts out of federal health insurance programby Elizabeth Stawicki, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty says Minnesota will opt out of running one of the first programs to take effect under the new health care law.
The law creates federal high-risk insurance pools in individual states beginning July 1. The pool would cover people rejected for insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
Pawlenty sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Friday, saying Minnesota has a similar high-risk pool that runs just fine.
"Minnesota has an insurance pool for high-risk individuals who can reasonably access insurance in the private market. It's working well and we think it would work better than having the federal government take it over," said Pawlenty. "And the money they would provide would pay for what they want to do, so we're declining."
The governor's decision doesn't necessarily mean the federal governmment won't still run a federal high-risk pool in Minnesota. But it means the state won't operate it.
- All Things Considered, 04/30/2010, 5:20 p.m.
Elizabeth Stawicki, JD, covers health care reform for MPR News.