Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the legislation unveiled this week to overhaul the nation's health care system is bad for Minnesota.
The Republican governor criticized the efforts of congressional Democrats on Wednesday during a health care forum at the University of Minnesota.
Pawlenty said the bill is a bundle of demonstration projects with no real reform. He's particularly concerned that the measure would preserve Minnesota's low reimbursement rates under Medicare.
"If you peg reform around cost structures on Medicare reimbursement rates, places like Minnesota that have been innovators, have been efficient, have been pioneers are going to get dramatically punished under such a scheme," Pawlenty said. "That's a bad idea."
Pawlenty appeared with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who sponsored the forum under the auspices of his Center for Health Transformation.
Gingrich said the legislation unveiled by House Democrats will do nothing to bring down health care costs or bring any innovations to the system.
"This is a 1975 socialized medicine model brought up 34 years later," Gingrich said. "Because the people who wrote it have been in Congress since the early 1970s, and they finally, after all these years, got enough power they can do what they wanted to do 35 years ago."