February 25th, 2010
05:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Pawlenty: Health care summit was 'window-dressing'

Possible 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Thursday's summit was a public relations stunt.
Possible 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Thursday's summit was a public relations stunt.

Washington (CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty sent a letter to President Obama last week urging him to invite governors to the White House health care summit because state executives have "hands-on experience reforming health care in our states."

That request was declined.

Not surprisingly, Pawlenty, a potential Obama rival in 2012, said Thursday's high-profile meeting failed to deliver.

"It's unfortunate that President Obama rejected my request to include governors from both parties in today's discussion," Pawlenty said in a statement released by his office. "Governors have hands-on experience reforming health care in our states and would've brought concrete ideas to the table. For example, in Minnesota we've implemented reforms such as paying providers based on quality, rather than number of procedures, and incentivizing state employees to use higher-quality, lower-cost clinics.

"Instead it appears today's summit was mostly window dressing before Democrats use reconciliation to force their overreaching, ill-advised plan through Congress, despite the strong opposition of most Americans," he concluded.


Filed under: Health care • President Obama • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Alex

    Pawlenty is a joke. He would have no clue on how to reform health care.

    In cutting assistance to homeless people in MN, he said they would just have to "use their ingenuity" to survive. This man has abandoned his state (Palin style) which is suffering from a horrible economy to pretend he is presidential material.

    February 25, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. Sadie

    Why should the President invite the Govenors? He had a room full as it was......you can say all you want, give your input......but the ones that have the last say so or the vote is the men and women in Congress.....this guy is just like Palin and seeking out attention for himself........and besides the President didn't need a bunch more republicans to add to the SHOW the rest of the GOP put on......this summit showed overwhelmingly that the Republicans were not there to try to met on any mid ground......

    February 25, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. VL

    I do care about the process of creating the legislation, because strong-arming a garbage bill is not something that anyone wants, from either party. Having been done by both parties is no justification, and I wish that our past, future, and current leaders would actually listen to the American people.

    I still have no idea why health care is such a critical issue at the moment; it has been in a bad state for quite some time, and I find it odd that healthcare is given a greater emphasis than economy during a recession. I am sick, absolutely sick, of partisan politics. From both sides.

    I GREATLY look forward to the upcoming November elections, and hope that Congress can be refilled with people willing to serve, not rule. Progressiveness for the sake of progressiveness is one of the most dangerous ideals imaginable in a democracy, at least to me.

    February 25, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Mitchell from MS

    Of course it was but it accomplished two things.

    1. People saw the GOP are sensible caring people

    2. Obama was made to look like the incompetent dolt he is.

    February 25, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. imjustnoisy

    Why does everyone and their mama ask more of this president than ant other president.

    February 25, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. imjustnoisy

    Sorry, any other president

    February 25, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    He is just jealous because he was not there and the Republicans have not ideas that will really do anything.

    February 25, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. NELLIE BLY

    For free - my Governor. Mostly likes to beat his own drum and toot his own horn. Price based on effectiveness.

    February 25, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. ran

    People want health care reform now. Pawlenty shows that Governors especially Republicans can not or will not control cost of increase premiums. In his state the premiums are to go up 32 % this year.

    What is needed is a National health care reform and if reconciliation is the way to go then do it. enough of the fear/hate/obstructionism.

    February 25, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. What a Joke

    Obamma's HC Summit was a complete waste of time and money. The man is a Joke but the joke is on us.

    February 25, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Glenis Withell RN

    I thought the healthcare debate today was a win, especially for President Obama. He handled himself with his usual grace and eloquence. The only thing I did not hear was about the pharmaceutical industry who are taking old drugs, putting them together and charging large amounts for them. Most prescription programs will not pay for these drugs, or they will pay a small portion. The companies then market them as new drugs and patent them so they have nine years to charge exhorbitant fees before they can become generic. Case in point are hypertension medications.
    Thank you.

    February 25, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. haas

    Pawlenty, Pawlease! You want this to fail. I hope your Rep friends in Congress will finally stop playing games and start working with their colleagues on the left to get the important things done. You had plenty of time to give your 2 cents to the debate but you wait until the summit to slam any hope Americans have at having REAL health care. You are unAmerican.

    February 25, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Republicans is smart in the head area

    And you're salad dressing. Your only regret is that you didn't get some free air time to try and drum up support for your soon-to-fail Presidential campaign. The Republicans came to this summit in bad faith and put forth half measures and bromides instead of solutions. My health care costs are about to go up 34% because Anthem/Well Point doesn't feel that $5 billion dollars in earnings last year wasn't quite enough to sate their greed. And the Republicans believe that malpractice reform is going to do the trick? Anthem/Well Point are raising their rates in other states as well so there goes the "buy from another state" joke of an idea. We need REAL REFORM NOW, not Republican talking points.

    February 25, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. Hi I'm TriG, and my mommy scares me :-(

    Ok, and at what time were these governors suppossed to speak? And if Repubs inted them so would the Dems.

    This is the stupidest reason to degrade the summit.

    Last time I checked, Governors are not part of the legislative branch.

    Might as well have asked if every Doctor in America can participate.

    FAIL

    February 25, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. fred

    Stop being such a crybaby, Tim ... really. People can see right through your hogwash.

    February 25, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. Bob

    Awe shucks Timmy...Still upset that you didn't get invited? Take your ball and go play with your buddy Norm Coleman.....

    February 25, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Simon Shuster

    This is a great example of the problem. The debate was with congress and the President. not the governor's. Pawlenty should know this. So he takes this opportunity to hit the Republican talking points, always aimed at undermining. Why don't the Governor's have their own debate? What has this comment from Pawlenty added of any substance to the debate. Starting your campaign early there Tim? .

    February 25, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Indy

    So..have your own meetings, get the Governors together and have a meting about health care and take your results to the Whitehouse.Stop compalining and do some work, Action !!!

    February 25, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. eolufemi

    Silly statement. Congress is where the gridlock is. We already know that governors will take whatever money the federal government gives them. We don't need a summit for that.

    February 25, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    If the Republicans are so full of ideas, as Pawlenty implies, why didn't they call for a health care summit some time during the last 12 months?

    I'll tell you why: Because they've never intended to reform health care. And their stated goal in this matter (President Obama's "Waterloo") has been to stall and obstruct and in general, try to make our president and our country fail.

    The Republicans have absolutely ZERO credibility when it comes to doing anything of benefit for our country.

    Because, more than anything, the GOP = Party Before Country

    February 25, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. VAVoter

    Yeah right! He's only saying that because the Republicans looked like the bunch of petty, partisan and uninformed lot that they are. If it had been their idea and if they had come out looking good, he would have said the same event was the best thing since gerrymandering.

    February 25, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. maria

    I thought the exchange was informative. And for that person who said the only ones watching were the unemployed, that's offensive. It's called the internet. Healthcare reform is a must. "Medicare for all" is all dems had to say. Obama should have taken control from the get go. Now the majority of people according to polls are against it, but they don't know what they are against. The majority wants reform. I agree with Obama, let the fed govt employees get catastrophic like they are recommending. GOP doesn't budge; DEMS should do no less -they have a majority -use it. Even if there is a turnover down the road, so what – looks like it may happen anyway. I don't agree with Obama on a lot of things, but here is where I do and hope he gets real reform through.

    February 25, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    No, Pawlenty, the window-dressing has been the supposed concern the Republicans have for the average American – when their actions and words so clearly show that the only constituents they care about are corporations and the wealthy.

    You jerks in the GOP can squawk all you want about how the President hasn't tried to cooperate, etc. – it is very plain to see that YOU are the problem.

    February 25, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. ib

    This was a joke lead by Obama. He stated that since he was president he was taking more time talking than anyone else. Just another photo-op for Obama who has no intentions of going along with anyone and anything except what he wants.

    February 25, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. CBH

    I am sure that your state was well represented by the Senators by the good people of the state of Minnesota. Maybe you should have spoke to your Reps before the summit and allowed them to present your ideas. Oh I forgot, you plan to run your sorry self for president in 2012. Maybe you should attend to the business of the great state of Minnesota and stop grandstanding. Besides, you will never be elected President anyway.

    February 25, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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