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Pawlenty opts Minnesota out of new high-risk health pool

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty says Minnesota is opting out of a new national high-risk pool for hard-to-insure Minnesotans.

Pawlenty says Minnesota already has such a pool. And he's concerned that the initial $5 billion in federal funding for the program will go quickly, meaning big premium increases.

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Pawlenty announced the opt-out in a letter Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The governor said at the Republican state convention that Minnesota's high-risk pool works well and he doesn't like the federal program's "overreach."

The pool is part of President Obama's recently signed federal health care overhaul.

Nevada's Republican governor said this week that his state also is opting out.

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