GAMC veto shows Pawlenty’s priorities

The governor’s solution to the health crisis will “make it worse.”

Minnesota has historically been known for some of the best and most comprehensive health care in the nation, but now it is preparing to make cuts to health care coverage for some of its poorest citizens, primarily because our governor would rather boost his presidential résumé. It is a cheap trick to make good on a misconceived promise to never raise state taxes, all while quietly causing property taxes and other fees to skyrocket. Through his veto of General Assistance Medical Care, Gov. Tim Pawlenty is cutting the health care coverage of 60,000, switching some 20,000 over to the more expensive and less comprehensive MinnesotaCare and abandoning the other 40,000. Additionally, he wants to build a staggering new facility to incarcerate sex offenders who havenâÄôt been caught yet and spend some of the health care savings on a 20 percent tax cut for corporations. Ironically, Pawlenty seems to be using the opportunity to show the Republican base an example of his âÄúvalues.âÄù As medical students, we have had the opportunity to see the remarkable services hospitals like HCMC and Regions provide the state of Minnesota and surrounding communities. These institutions will be hit especially hard by the cuts to GAMC, forcing them to cut many primary care services for the poor, ultimately resulting in more frequent visits to already crowded emergency departments. Not only do these places provide a cost-effective and humble service to Minnesotans, but they also provide invaluable education to future health care providers. We went into medicine to serve our communities with the idea that health care is a human right. Although PawlentyâÄôs policies demonstrate his belief that health care is a privilege, we would like remind him that his first role is to look after the people of his state. Erik Anderson, Ryan Clay, Tyler Winkelman; University medical students