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Associated Press, Published September 07 2010

Pawlenty to take $260 million in federal Medicaid aid

ST. PAUL (AP) — Gov. Tim Pawlenty has decided to accept about $260 million in federal medical assistance aid after directing state agencies to avoid some federal grants associated with the health care overhaul.

The likely Republican presidential candidate asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for the money on Tuesday.

Pawlenty's letter to Sebelius says the Medicaid dollars "reflect current and longstanding Minnesota policy objectives and commitments." He also notes that Minnesota pays more to the federal government than it gets back.

Last week, Pawlenty ordered state agencies to avoid "discretionary" involvement in the federal health care law unless required by law or approved by his office. The Medicaid money passed separately as part of a stimulus directed at states.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.