[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/08/art.pawlenty.gi.jpg caption="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.