8:16 PM | Posted in ,
All session long the Minnesota State Legislature has been working on a Health Care Reform Bill to fundamentally change and improve the delivery, access, and affordability of health care in Minnesota. While some have decried it as not being enough, the reality is that there is only so far we can go when you have a Governor with the obstinance of one Tim Pawlenty.

In the greater scheme of things we here in Minnesota provide health care access to an amazing percentage of our citizens and there are some who claim that as enough. This bill would have added to that amazing number another 30,000+ Minnesotans while decreasing the cost of health care by some 15%. One of the biggest pieces of this reform is to pay providers for the quality of health care rather than simply the quantity of health care provided. Now, given the Governor's insistence that educators be paid based on "quality" one has to wonder why he is opposed to paying the health care industry by the same measure.

Unfortunately, this particular reform is dead in the water today according to a recent article from the Bemidji Pioneer as Pawlenty took out the "protection from reform pen" (isn't that what he called it?) and vetoed the legislation. His reasoning?

“The goal was to make fundamental changes in how we deliver and provide care in order to lower costs and improve quality, and to use some of the savings to expand access,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, many months later, this bill fails to achieve those goals.”

Apparently adding 30,000 Minnesotans, lowering costs by 15%, caps the percentage low income citizens can be forced to spend on health care, and changing the way providers are compensated are not fundamental changes. Mr. Pawlenty, did you read the bill or is this yet another veto to solidify your image for your buddy John McCain at the expense of the people of Minnesota.

Cross Posted on St. Cloud Times