ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a potential GOP presidential candidate, stepped up his attack Thursday on President Barack Obama’s federal health care law with a court filing challenging its cost to states.

Pawlenty and Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri, both Republicans leaving office soon, joined in the federal court filing in Pensacola, Fla.

A judge there ruled last month that parts of a lawsuit filed by 20 other states challenging the health care overhaul can go to trial. The two governors’ filing seeks permission to submit a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the lawsuit.

The filing, written by a Washington lawyer from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the governors are safeguarding their citizens from “federal abuse of the spending power.” They argue the law places liabilities on states through a Medicaid expansion.

“Although the Act indicates that the federal government will initially pay for some Medicaid expansions, the states are advised that they will pay for 10 percent of some unspecified costs in four years, and there is no indication that the states will not pay more in succeeding periods,” the governors’ document said.

Pawlenty has been vocal in his opposition to the law. He has said he would make repealing it a focal point of a run for president in 2012 if he wages a campaign. Pawlenty has ordered state agencies to avoid discretionary grants related to the health law.

Pawlenty also has resisted a federal offer to enroll more people in Medicaid, refusing $1.4 billion in federal grants.

A deal Pawlenty brokered with Democrats in May gave the next governor until Jan. 15 to decide whether to accept the money for expanded state coverage for the poor. The deadlocked governor’s race could extend his term and allow him to decline the federal waiver.

In April, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson rejected a request from Pawlenty to sue over the new federal health care law. Instead, Swanson said she would file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the federal government.

Pawlenty had asked Swanson to challenge whether a requirement that individuals buy health insurance is constitutional. The Democratic attorney general told Pawlenty at the time that a lawsuit wasn’t warranted because health care fits squarely within the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Greg says:

    Shut up Timmy. 50 million Americans without health insurance and the CEO of United Health made $108 million last year.

    The “market” hasn’t worked for health care – what is your solution? More of the same.

  2. d says:

    Well-placed politicians like Pawlenty that hit the airwaves with sound-byte complaints rather than constructive criticism about health care reform have health care coverage themselves (paid for by taxpayers by the way). Why not spend your energy on reforming the reform if you don’t like it, Tim? You’re sounding more like detached royalty rather than a worker for the people.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE