HELENA – Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is asking the U.S. government to let his state set up its own universal health care program, taking his rhetorical fight over health care to another level.
Like Republicans who object to the federal health care law, the Democratic governor also argues his state should have more flexibility than the law allows.
But Schweitzer says he wants to use federal Medicare and Medicaid money to create a state-run system that borrows from the program used in Saskatchewan. He says the Canadian province controls cost by negotiating drug prices and limiting non-emergency procedures such as MRIs.
Schweitzer told a federal official on Wednesday that he will be asking for a block grant waiver request.
The governor says he expects to be rejected.
See additional coverage of Schweitzer’s annoucement here:
Schweitzer wants universal healthcare for Montana, KRTV, Sept. 28, 2011
Schweitzer wants statewide universal health care program, The Missoulian, Sept. 28, 2011
Montana seeks to emulate Saskatchewan health care, Straight Goods, October 27, 2011