CCHC Urges Governor Pawlenty to Take Positive Action

Responds to State of the State Speech

Minneapolis/Saint Paul – In the wake of Governor Tim Pawlenty's State of the State speech today, Twila Brase, president of Citizens' Council on Health Care, gave the following statement:

"We are disappointed that the Governor did not assure the public that he will protect the genetic privacy rights of children and families. Unfortunately he did not state that he will require his health commissioner to comply with the Minnesota genetic privacy law's consent requirements for the storage, use and dissemination of baby DNA. And importantly, he did not assure the public that he will not sign the health department's proposed bill to eliminate those consent rights that in law today.

"We are pleased that Governor Pawlenty advocated for elimination of as many state mandates as possible. Although he was referring to state mandates on county government, we are hopeful that this statement shows that the Governor is open to eliminating most or all mandated benefits from health insurance coverage in an effort to decrease the cost of health insurance and to make individual health insurance more affordable. Indeed, such a reduction of mandated benefits would advance his goal of "reducing the costs employers bear to create and keep jobs in Minnesota" as noted in his press release.

"Finally, we are disappointed that the governor did not provide any specific suggestions for health care, saying only that he would "protect current health care eligibility for children."

"In conclusion, we ask the governor to take steps to reduce mandated benefits, maintain the patients right to freedom in health care decisions and give individuals control over their genetic and medical information."

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935