Pawlenty asks for federal Medicaid money

Gov. Tim Pawlenty today asked U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for about $260 million in federal funding for Medicaid and foster care.

If you’re confused about the governor’s stand on federal funding you’re forgiven, because it’s complicated. Last week Pawlenty issued an executive order to state agencies telling them to avoid applying for discretionary funding under the federal health care law which he referred to as “Obamacare.”

The pot of money he asked for today came from a different law designed to help states during the economic crisis. Pawlenty had originally counted on this money in the budget plan he proposed to lawmakers early this year.

What’s the difference? The governor’s letter says this money reflects “current and longstanding Minnesota policy objectives and commitments.” He also writes that Minnesota gets back only $0.72 for every dollar the state sends to Washington and that “Minnesota taxpayers subsidize the federal government.”

Here’s his letter.

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