[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/29/art.pawlentyfile.gi.jpg caption ="Tim Pawlenty issued an executive order Tuesday on the health care bill passed by Congress."]
(CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is taking aim at the new health care law.
The possible contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination issued an executive order Tuesday that directs Minnesota state agencies and departments not seek federal grants under the health care measure, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama this spring.
Pawlenty told reporters earlier Tuesday that the new law, which was a top priority for the White House and congressional Democrats, is a "misguided piece of legislation," and added that "anything that I can do to slow down, limit or negate Obamacare, I'm going to try to do it within reason."
Pawlenty told reporters he won't scrap applications that have already been submitted.
Surveys indicate that the health care law is extremely unpopular with Republicans. According to the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 83 percent of Republicans oppose the measure.
The Democratic National Committee Tuesday reacted to Pawlenty's move.
"After rejecting $7.8 billion dollars for his cash-strapped state where taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet and denying health care to a quarter million of his fellow Minnesotans, Tim Pawlenty's executive order to state employees might as well have read 'You will henceforth work for my Presidential ambitions instead of the people of Minnesota,'" said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan, in a statement.
Pawlenty finishes up his second term as governor at the beginning of next year. His announcement last year that he would not run for a third term as governor was the first serious indication that Pawlenty was considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn