Pawlenty gently swabs his health care bona fides with a burnishing motion


Democrats jumped on Gov. Pawlenty’s unveiling last week of a new website, — where health care consumers in Minnesota can compare clinics and costs — because Pawlenty was touting a program he’d earlier threatened with his budget-cutting axe. Pawlenty responded that he’d spared the program in the end. In fact, he now loves the program so much that, to hear his office tell the story, you might think he started it. 

From last week’s news release:

In addition to the new online cost and quality information, Governor Pawlenty has initiated a number of health care reforms …

On his radio show Friday from the State Fair, deputy chief of staff Brian McClung repeated something from a press release last year that sounds like the website was Pawlenty’s baby [emphasis added]:

Well, governor, if I could jump in too, he raises an interesting point, because just yesterday you announced that we have a new health care transparency website. And Minnesota is now the first state in the nation where consumers can go online and look at cost and quality information. … So this is the first time — and they did this at Gov. Pawlenty’s urging, provided the information. There’s a nonprofit that runs it. And that kind of transparency’s important for trying to hold down costs and improve quality.

The nonprofit in question, Minnesota Community Measurement, dates its origins back nine years and began providing information about how medical groups rate five years ago (pdf). Its founding members are seven state health care nonprofits, and its board includes directors representing both providers and consumers from around the state.

At the end of the radio show, Pawlenty had these fitting words, in reference to the Metro Gang Strike Force:

It’s a matter of common sense and good ethics that you don’t take stuff from other people and then take it home and use it for your personal use.


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