By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

Gov. Tim Pawlenty's pushing his idea to allow other states' health insurers sell in Minnesota with governors across the country.

Today, he wrote to all 49 other governors asking them to join an "Interstate Health Insurance Compact," which would "facilitate the purchase of health insurance across state lines." Currently, no state allows health insurance purchasing from other states.

When Pawlenty unveiled his idea to allow Minnesotans to buy other states' insurers earlier this month, the idea didn't make much progress with Democrats who control the Legislature.

House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, underscored that point yesterday in a meeting between legislative leaders and the governor.

"People are less healthy in these states. Why would we...look to states with lower quality?" she said after the breakfast meeting Tuesday.

While Pawlenty's idea of interstate purchasing might have little chance at the state Capitol, his letter to other governors allows him to keep the issue alive as he travels the nation in what is seen as a preview of his potential 2012 presidental race.

"Health insurance is an area that would benefit from a consistent set of standards to enable true market competition to flourish nationally," he told the governors today.

Here's a copy of the letter.



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