Add Tim Pawlenty to the list of governors who have spoken out against Obamacare and have called for its repeal.
Writing last week in the San Diego Tribune, Minnesota’s governor (for now), says “governors can use their authority to stop or delay implementation of Obamacare. It must be fought not only in Washington but in state capitols.” Governors, of all people, are in the strongest position (and with the greatest incentives) to attack the law on the grounds of federalism.
As befits an aspiring presidential candidate, Pawlenty used the occasion to tout reforms that have occurred under his watch:
We made it easier for consumers to use HSA plans (Minnesota is second in the nation on HSAs). We provided online cost and quality information for the 100 most common health services. We passed tort reform to curb frivolous lawsuits. And we engaged the private sector as a partner, not as an opponent.
Pawlenty does a good job of explaining the fundamental problem with health care today: somebody else pays the bill (or so it seems), leading to the equivalent of an open bar. (We also lose the market discipline of millions of people making individual choices; today most choices about insurance are made by a relatively few number of HR departments in corporate America.)
Obamacare does little to rectify that situation, and in fact, takes steps to take the patient out of the game.
Minnesota’s outgoing governor, if anything, understates the problem. He says that “the new law allows the government to eventually control over half of all health care spending.” I believe that when you take into account Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare, insurance for government employees, public health clinic spending and other items, governments of all levels already–today–spend more than half of all the health care dollars in this country. When was the last time “government spending” and “efficient spending” belonged in the same sentence?
Anyway, it’s good to hear the governor speak out again against this very bad law. It won’t be undone without a significant–perhaps unprecedented–effort.