Gov. Tim Pawlenty sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting $263 million in federal funds.
In a letter to Sebelius, Pawlenty noted his recent executive order directing all state agencies to stay away from funds that fall under the umbrella of the new federal health care bill, mainly because of its wide scope and price tag. He said he is requesting the federal Medicaid funds, commonly known as FMAP dollars, because they “reflect current and longstanding Minnesota policy objectives and commitments.”
Pawlenty joined national Republicans in criticizing the FMAP funds when they first passed through Congress in August, calling it a “reckless spending spree.”
The dollars were part of an ever-evolving budget picture during the Legislative session. Both Pawlenty and the DFL-controlled Legislature included the funds as part of their solution to plug a $1.2 billion budget hole, but crafted a new plan at the last minute when the dollars failed to come by session close.