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GOP watch: T-Paw and 2012

“Take note, Mitt Romney,” the AP writes. “Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is burnishing his standing among Republican primary voters who overwhelmingly oppose President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The law is likely to be a central theme in the 2012 presidential race.”

“[O]n Tuesday he ordered state agencies to decline ‘discretionary’ involvement with the federal law ‘unless otherwise required by law or approved by the governor's office.’ He said his office will determine whether federal funding would support state initiatives or create ‘new encroachments by the federal government.’”

Here’s how HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ responded to this news: “I’m afraid of citizens of Minnesota may be the victims of whatever it is that’s coming their way. I know we have companies from the great state of Minnesota who have applied to be part of this plan.…I know that we have seniors in Minnesota who have received $250 checks for prescription drug coverage because they have reached the prescription drug doughnut hole… So I have no idea if those are the kinds of benefits he intends to eliminate for the citizens of Minnesota.”