Democrats who lost their majorities in the state Legislature are taking a parting shot at outgoing Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty over his refusal to embrace federal health care money.
Pawlenty opposes the new federal health care overhaul and he rejected its option for an early expansion of Medicaid in Minnesota. DFL Governor-elect Mark Dayton has pledged to accept the money as soon as he takes office.
But DFL Rep. Tom Huntley of Duluth told members of a legislative budget panel Tuesday that the delay will impact thousands of health care jobs.
"What we're losing is about $880,000 per day that our providers are not getting," Huntley said. "And remember, that money doesn't go to the state. It goes to the health care providers, most of whom would spend it on salaries and wages. So they'd be paying income taxes on that."
The Medicaid expansion will bring in more than $1 billion in federal dollars, but it also requires some additional state spending.