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The Associated Press April 14, 2010, 1:59PM ET

Minn. Dems aim for federal health care dollars

A trio of Minnesota House Democrats are pushing legislation they say would bring the state $1 billion in federal money to provide health coverage for the state's residents.

But there's a catch: The state would have to spend $1 billion to get the dollars.

Rep. Tom Huntley of Duluth and two colleagues put forward a plan Wednesday to hold down costs to the state's general fund while draining a special health care fund deep into negative territory.

A spokesman for Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the plan won't work because the special fund is already scheduled to run a deficit.

Minnesota is one of 11 states eligible for federal funding for early expansion of Medicaid health care for the poor. The program goes by the name Medical Assistance in Minnesota.

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