Hold The Mayo

July 22, 2009

Hold The Mayo


Reform: The administration has touted the world-class Mayo Clinic as a model for Congress’ health care bills. Just one problem: Mayo itself says what’s on offer will make us all “losers.”

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It doesn’t say much for a “reform” plan when the example used to promote it explicitly warns against it. But that’s what happened when the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday refuted the Obama administration’s sales pitch for a 1,018-page health care reform bill, promising everyone a Mayo-like program.

The clinic warned the proposed reforms won’t create anything like the low-cost system for which Mayo is envied worldwide.

“The proposed legislation,” Mayo says on its policy blog, “misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite.

“In general, the proposals under discussion are not patient-focused or results-oriented. Lawmakers have failed to use a fundamental lever — a change in Medicare payment policy — to help drive . . . improvements in American health care.

“Unless legislators create payment systems that pay for good patient results at reasonable costs, the promise of transformation in . . . health care will wither. The real losers will be the citizens of the United States.”

Coming from a legendary, 120-year-old clinic, that’s a damning assessment the president and Congress would do well to heed.


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