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Editorial: Pawlenty is acting only for himself
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opinion Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

It appears the only health that Gov. Tim Pawlenty is really only concerned about the health of his 2012 presidential prospects.

He certainly is not concern about the health of Minnesotans.

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In the lame duck months of his administration, Pawlenty continues to travel outside the state and this week decided to direct the state to not participate in the new federal health care law, which includes various grants.

Why?

Simply -- it looks good on his political record in preparation for the 2012 presidential race and strengthening his conservative street reputation. If you have not noticed, Pawlenty is moving to farther and farther to the far right.

It is not right for Pawlenty to deny the state and all Minnesotans of lawful federal services and grants in order to further his own political future.

In fact, the conservative-leaning Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Mayo Clinic, both this week denounced Pawlenty plan to reject federal health care money out of Minnesota.

The Mayo Clinic said Pawlenty's rejection of early enrollment in Medicaid and preserving the original General Assistance Medical Assistance program cost the world-renowned medical clinic and system $25 million.

The state Chamber of Commerce called on Pawlenty to review his rejection of applying for a $1 million planning grant to research and analyze a potential health insurance exchange, according to the Associated Press.

State nursing and doctor associations are also calling on Pawlenty to seek these discretionary federal health care dollars.

On Friday, Pawlenty sunk to a new low by calling the federal government "basically a drug dealer" by offering these lawful federal health care benefits. However, Pawlenty has arbitrarily rejected these benefits for all Minnesotans.

There is a reason that a recent poll showed the majority of Minnesota disapprove of Pawlenty's out-of-state campaigning and the majority consider it unlikely they would vote for Pawlenty for president. Even nearly one in four Republicans in the recent poll say they unlikely would vote for Pawlenty for president.

If Pawlenty wants to pursue his presidential aspirations, that is all well and good.

However, his recent action at a great cost to every single Minnesotans in order to strengthen his conservative record is indefensible and shameful.

As governor, Pawlenty should and must act for the benefit of all Minnesotans -- not just his personal agenda -- and implement the duly passed federal law.

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