By Mike Kaszuba

One day after Gov. Tim Pawlenty survived a DFL attempt to override his veto of General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) legislation, the governor and Republican legislators said Tuesday they planned to unveil a new plan to address the troubled health care program.

DFL leaders, including Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, who chairs a key Senate Health and Human Services panel, met with the governor Tuesday morning, and said the Republican governor and others provided them with a vague outline of a new plan the Republicans promised to unfold later in the day.  Berglin said that a hearing on the plan could take place as early as Tuesday evening.

"It's very conceptual," said Berglin.

Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said the proposal would include "many of the elements [that] have already been discussed."  He added that "you'll be familiar with the elements [and] what's been out there."

"We have to keep in mind that you've got to be able to pay for these ideas and programs.  So we'll be trying to work in that context," he said.

Rep. Thomas Huntley, DFL-Duluth, another key health care legislator, said he was taking a wait and see approach.  "We're interested to see if the governor really wants to make a decision or not," he said.  "They haven't made any good offers."

Tuesday's negotiations came a day after the Minnesota House, on a party-line vote, failed to override the governor's veto of legislation that would have continued GAMC, a program that provides health care coverage for roughly 32,000 of the state's poorest and sickest residents.  The Pawlenty administration, citing the program's costs, is attempting to transfer GAMC recipients to MinnesotaCare, a subsidized health care program that offers less coverage.

 

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