Obama Brutally Rejected by Health-Care Crush

Obama, like a lot of liberal health-care reformers, has had a long-running hospital crush on Minnesota's Mayo Clinic. As Mary Katherine Ham points out, over the course of making the case for his brand of health-care reform, he's cited it repeatedly as a model for the sort of reform he hopes to achieve. But alas, his love is unrequited: Mayo posted a statement on its institutional health-policy blog today indicating that the organization doesn't care for the proposals currently being floated by Obama and Congressional Democrats:

Although there are some positive provisions in the current House Tri-Committee bill—including insurance for all and payment reform demonstration projects—the proposed legislation 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 necessary improvements in American health care. Unless legislators create payment systems that pay for good patient results at reasonable costs, the promise of transformation in American health care will wither. The real losers will be the citizens of the United States.


In other words, thanks for your interest, Obama, but let's just be friends

Last week, Steve Chapman wrote about the problems with a public health-insurance option, and John Stossel argued that more health care won't solve our nation's health-care problems

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  • -||

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


    In other words, thanks for your interest, Obama, but let's just be friends.




    In other words, like some women, come back when you have a program that offers us more money.

  • Barack Obama||

    I never really liked Mayo Clinic, anyway.

  • Paul||

    transformation in American health care will wither.

    ZOMG! They said 'wither'... that's three words away from 'wither on the vine'. And we all remember what happened when those words were uttered.

  • Mad Max||

    The only reason this is a problem is because the Hays Code was repealed. The repeal of the Hays Code allowed *Fatal Attraction,* which Obama probably saw, and it will give him bad ideas.

    I hope the Mayo Clinic doesn't have any pet rabbits.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    It sounds like Mayo still favors a statist policy, just not Obama's statist policy.

  • ||

    Don't. You. Want. Me bay-bee...?

  • Paul||

    It sounds like Mayo still favors a statist policy, just not Obama's statist policy.

    Most healthcare organizations do. The hospital I work for can't wait for healthcare reform. And they can't wait for it for one reason: They believe it'll fatten the bankroll.

    My healthcare organization just took a monthly hit of over $200,000 because of the recently reduced Medicare reimbursements (cost control!). The belief is that with healthcare reform, the reimubursements will go up through some other channel and visits will increase because of a guaranteed payor.

    These organizations seriously believe that with healthcare reform that costs will be controlled, but revenue will go up.

  • ||

    ZOMG! They said 'wither'...

    and oddly enough did so without reference to the taint.

  • ||

    It sounds like Mayo still favors a statist policy, just not Obama's statist policy.

    I had the same thought (and obviously it's important to keep in mind that doctors have their own horse in this race) but anything that throws a wrench in Obama's plans is a plus in my book.

  • Elemenope||

    I had the same thought (and obviously it's important to keep in mind that doctors have their own horse in this race) but anything that throws a wrench in Obama's plans is a plus in my book.

    Yah, cause heaven knows, if you are trying to prove that government can't do anything right, it couldn't possibly matter that people are hoping for it and acting for it to fail.

  • robc||

    lmnop,

    Who is trying to prove anything?

  • Paul||

    it couldn't possibly matter that people are hoping for it and acting for it to fail.

    Be careful where you're going with this one. This is one of those magic bullet statements that can be used against you when you least expect it.

  • robc||

    Statism is evil. Successful statism is even more fucking evil.

  • TallDave||

    I think they should attach an amendment to any health care bill that passes:

    If a Congressperson, or their staff, or any of the above's family members needs medical attention, they must wait until every other person in the United States has been served.

    See how they like rationing then. Bet they won't be handing out doctors via lottery, like in Canada.

  • The Reverend Jeremiah Wright||

    Screw the Mayo Clinic.

    The "Mayo" Clinic is racist. Mayo is white.

    Do I need to draw you people a map?

  • robc||

    TallDave,

    Great idea.

  • HopeMaster||

    Yah, cause heaven knows, if you are trying to prove that government can't do anything right, it couldn't possibly matter that people are hoping for it and acting for it to fail.

    Wow, my magical power of hope are stronger than I thought.

    All this time, I thought Communism failed because it was a bad economic model, but it turns out that was just my !@***AWESOME HOPING POWER***!!

    pew! pew! (shoots hoping beams)

  • ||

    "Who is trying to prove anything?"

    Its already been proven.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Obama Brutally Rejected by Health-Care Crush

    We can only hope.

  • ||

    There are two undeniable facts: 1. reform to the healthcare system is neccessary 2. reform will not come from those with a vested interest with the status quo ie. health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical firms, hospitals, physicians, and their lobbyists.
    The majority of Americans want and need reform and their voice will be heard inspite of all money spent on propaganda and the wholsale purchase of politicians. The very same politicians, who do not have to ever worry about inadequate or expensive healthcare.
    The Mayo Clinic is simply an organization that has, as a whole, an obvioous vested interest and wouldn't be expected to embrace the principle parts of the Obama plan.

  • Seward||

    Robert Holman,

    The majority of Americans want and need reform and their voice will be heard inspite of all money spent on propaganda and the wholsale purchase of politicians.

    When pressed on the issue, most Americans balk at any sort of "reform" which increases taxes and/or messes with the sort of care they have today. The majority of Americans also want "world peace" and fuzzy bunnies for everyone too.

  • ||

    reform will not come from those with a vested interest with the status quo ie. health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical firms, hospitals, physicians, and their lobbyists.

    You forgot unions, the single greatest force holding in place the single greatest problem with health care today: the tax favoritism of employer-provided health insurance.

  • luther blissett||

    John Stossel argued that more health care won't solve our nation's health-care problems.

    He should stick to fapping over "crazy party teens".

  • dave c||

    The Mayo Clinic is simply an organization that has, as a whole, an obvioous vested interest and wouldn't be expected to embrace the principle parts of the Obama plan.



    Geez, you sure seem pretty illiterate for a doctor. Astroturfer.

  • Memeofthe Day||

    Yah, cause heaven knows, if you are trying to prove that government can't do anything right, it couldn't possibly matter that people are hoping for it and acting for it to fail.

    Republicans want us to fail at passing health care reform, but if we fail, America fails. Those who don't support us, hate America.

  • Elemenope||

    The majority of Americans also want "world peace" and fuzzy bunnies for everyone too.

    Fuzzy bunnies can be arranged. We'll see who laughs then.

    Republicans want us to fail at passing health care reform, but if we fail, America fails. Those who don't support us, hate America.

    Someone's reading a bit much into my comment. My point only was if the ideology that motivates you declares that something must fail, and thus it is a bad idea to try, and thus one ought to foil it being implemented, it is guaranteed to fail. Then one may never know whether it failed because it was a bad idea, or because you shot it in both kneecaps before it got started.

    robc - You're being a bit fatuous, though there is a somewhat lateral point that indeed one can't prove an axiom, and it is certainly an axiom of libertarian thought that government just sucks at lots of things. If one doesn't accept the axiom, then one might seek some proof in the current area of discussion, but those who do accept it so are sure to scoff at such requests.

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    Fuzzy bunnies can be arranged. We'll see who laughs then.

    Call me a Caplanian.

    ...and it is certainly an axiom of libertarian thought that government just sucks at lots of things.

    That isn't just a libertarian axiom; it is a liberal one (in the broadest sense of that term).

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    Then one may never know whether it failed because it was a bad idea, or because you shot it in both kneecaps before it got started.

    Some ideas are just so stupid at first glance they are not worth experimenting worth. And make no mistake about it, whatever the Obama administration does with largely be experimental. Which means, amongst other things, something monstrous; that is treating human beings as means and not ends.

  • MemeoftheDay||

    Someone's reading a bit much into my comment. My point only was if the ideology that motivates you declares that something must fail, and thus it is a bad idea to try, and thus one ought to foil it being implemented, it is guaranteed to fail. Then one may never know whether it failed because it was a bad idea, or because you shot it in both kneecaps before it got started.

    That makes sense, and isn't necessarily copacetic with the statement I made. Scratch the association in previous post in relation to the meme of the day (which is a pretty accurate reading of the tone of liberals blogs at this time).

  • robc||

    lmnop,

    Statism is evil. Successful statism is even more fucking evil.

    No response to this?

  • Elemenope||

    That isn't just a libertarian axiom; it is a liberal one (in the broadest sense of that term).

    Agreed.

    Some ideas are just so stupid at first glance they are not worth experimenting with.

    That may be true, though I for one have as little confidence in the relative wisdom of individual humans to determine an idea summarily "bad" as I do in the collective wisdom of polities to determine the ethical boundaries of state power.

    And make no mistake about it, whatever the Obama administration does with largely be experimental.

    I think that's really pushing it, and where the debate generally goes off the rails on the right end of the spectrum. There are plenty of government-run/partially socialized systems that run around the world in many different countries. To say "heck, we just don't know what's gonna happen, nobody's done this before!" is fairly silly. Now, are there some conditions in the US that are idiosyncratic? Sure. But on the whole, there are several tested models to choose from.

    Which means, amongst other things, something monstrous; that is treating human beings as means and not ends.

    I think this is a helluva ethical conclusion to draw from the mere notion of experiment (if that's what this is, which as per above I don't think I'll grant in quite the way you're looking for). The mere element of risk, of failure, or the lack of a perfect method for prognostication, is simply not sufficient to launch a Kantian attack on the plan.

  • Elemenope||

    'Statism is evil. Successful statism is even more fucking evil.'

    No response to this?


    No satisfying response, anyway. I don't think, in the broadest sense, that such a statement is in fact true, even though it can be shown for a relatively large class of cases that it is situationally true.

    If we acknowledge as an axiom that the state, in some form, will exist, then there will always be an element of statism, which is simply the application of the power of the state to a particular set of public policy problems. Generally the state, being an inapt tool, will fail to provide equitable benefits from expanding to fill in a role for those problems.

    I do not take it as an axiom that the state's expansion into *any given* policy area is de facto "fucking evil" as you put it. If we have an axiom of prudence (something along the lines of "be skeptical of any proposed expansion of the state into new areas or extension into already regulated areas") in the end this is better than simply outright excluding the state from all public intercourse. It may turn out that in a certain set of conditions the state may in fact be the preferable tool to use to approach an equitable solution; something that is preserved with skepticism but lost with outright preemptive removal.

  • robc||

    I don't think, in the broadest sense, that such a statement is in fact true

    It clearly is. The fact that Im a minarchist and not an anarchist is merely me accepting a little evil in order to avoid the greater, unavoidable one (when anarchism fails).

    If men were angels, governments would not be necessary.

    I guess it could be argued that a state that only engaged in powers that were specifically granted to it by all members contractually (some of like a hyper-restricted HOA) might not be evil. But that isnt the normal case.

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    When polities make mistakes those have more dire consequences than when individuals, even when a lot of the latter do such, do. Witness our recent financial crisis, which is at heart the result of the polity's determination that for a few years after 9/11 we really need to ramp up easy money.

    There are plenty of government-run/partially socialized systems that run around the world in many different countries.

    And the U.S. isn't adopting any of them. In fact, most governments who have government funded medical care don't have a "public option." See the Dutch. You have to be sort of aware of just how different what the Obama administration is actually proposing to note just how experimental it is.

    The mere element of risk, of failure, or the lack of a perfect method for prognostication, is simply not sufficient to launch a Kantian attack on the plan.

    Sure it is, particularly when the policy is done without their consent.

  • Seward||

    robc,

    On balance, in many areas of the world, people would be better in an anarchic state. The notion of having a state is better than not having one is pretty limited.

  • ||

    I have yet to hear a single argument in which the mechanism for reducing the cost of healthcare under this plan is explained. Where is Mayo wrong on that point? The cost of healthcare will increase as the government plan increases consumption of services, then those costs get shifted to the public, which is somehow supposed to reduce the deficit if I heard that stump speech correctly?

    I guess it wouldn't have been easy to sell a plan in a beat-down economy if you said "screw the costs, it's all about universal insurance," but that would have been more honest.

  • ||

    There are plenty of government-run/partially socialized systems that run around the world in many different countries.

    ...and all of them depend on the lucrative US market to produce new drugs and new medical technologies. Obviously, we can't do the same.

  • ||

    Yah, cause heaven knows, if you are trying to prove that government can't do anything right, it couldn't possibly matter that people are hoping for it and acting for it to fail.

    Clap harder! Tinkerbell's dying!

  • -||

    If men were angels, governments would not be necessary.

    If they were the sort of angels Satan was, it would be.

  • jacob||

    The Mayo Clinic is one of the epicenters of medical research in North America, possibly the world. I'd say they are an authority on health care. However, I'd be interested in hearing what they thought about squelching doctor-owned hospitals, which is a top priority for numerous other non-profit institutions. In fact, numerous hospitals ARE signing on to the Obama health plan to put doctor-owned (for profit) hospitals out of business.

    A statist by any other name is still a statist.

  • ||

    Against economic idiocy.

    http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/07/criminally-insane-cliff-asness-takes-on.html

  • smartass sob||

    I guess it wouldn't have been easy to sell a plan in a beat-down economy if you said "screw the costs, it's all about universal insurance,"

    It's all about mandatory insurance - whether you can afford it or not and whether you want it or not. Got other priorities for your money? Tough. Your masters have other ideas.

  • ||

    If blasting this idea in the knee caps would guarantee it's immediate death, give me the fucking gun and I'll do it right now. There are myriad ways to reduce health care costs making more accessible for just about everyone, but government management and/or financing is the absolute wrong direction. I 100% guarantee they will fuck it up.

    How about take the handcuffs off insurers so they can offer all sorts of plans with risk based pricing. Tell the FDA to fuck off. Legalize drugs and eliminate the doctor requirement for getting an Rx. Self medication should not be seen as an all-abusive relationship. Allow ERs non-critical patients to clinics so the ERs can save real life-threatening problems. Open up the medical schools to more people so more people can treat patients. That's rationing that's going on right now. Allow nurses to perform more care. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • mark||

    ...and all of them depend on the lucrative US market to produce new drugs and new medical technologies. Obviously, we can't do the same.

    And in their smugness, many Europeans watch Michael Moore films and give him standing ovations for selling obvious bullshit, and feel pretty good about themselves and their socialized medicine, and how much better and more civilized their countries are. Moore is the most smug, since he gets to tell people how bad America is, and have people cheer him for it.

  • ||

    There are plenty of government-run/partially socialized systems that run around the world in many different countries.

    ...and all of them depend on the lucrative US market to produce new drugs and new medical technologies. Obviously, we can't do the same.


    THIS.

    Those models in many different countries are enabled by the fact that we are not engaged in anything like them.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Most healthcare organizations do. The hospital I work for can't wait for healthcare reform. And they can't wait for it for one reason: They believe it'll fatten the bankroll."

    That's one aspect of this issue that bugs me - the trotting out of doctors who advocate socialized medicine and proclaim healthcare to be a right and we're all supposed to take them seriously and attribute their position to noble desires to help others.

    I see no reason why anyone should defer to doctors for guidance in deciding what to believe his obligations are (if any) toward paying for anyone else's healthcare.

    It is akin to unquestioninglly accepting a claim of a car salesman that car ownership is a right and that we should all be compelled to participate in and pay for car buying pools to ensure that everyone has one regardless of ability to pay.

  • Lee Iacocca||

    It is akin to unquestioninglly accepting a claim of a car salesman that car ownership is a right

    You've just given me the most wonderful idea!

    Chauffeur! To Washingon, and step on it!

  • mark||

    And just to recount one example of other countries free-riding off "American medical advances" look no further than the pharmaceutical industry. Pharma companies have a business model that looks something like this:

    1) Develop a new drug. This may take as long as a decade and cost a billion dollars. I'm not sure if that includes the cost of all the failed drugs. Also, people have mentioned the FDA as a driver of this cost but even without that organization, a company would have to test the drug extensively to be absolutely sure it's safe.

    2) Sell the drug in the U.S. at a price the market will bear. If the NPV of a project is not positive just from sales in the U.S., they probably won't even try it.

    3) When all that is done, take your drug to Canada and other socialized medicine countries, and charge them whatever they want because they control 100% of the market. I can only imagine what a meeting between a pharma company and a National Medical Board is like. Probably a lot of brinksmanship because they can choose not to sell the drug in that country at all. Probably a lot of bribery here too.

    So the drug company, having already broken even in the U.S., is happy to take whatever money they get from France or Canada, but they are not counting on it.

    Since there is little profit motive to produce malaria drugs, few are produced. This is referred to as a "failure of capitalism" by people like Bill Gates. But really, we should be thankful that we live in a country where drug companies can charge what they want and recover their investment. Sure some of the drugs are more "lifestyle" focused but there is real innovation all the time. If ObamaCare paves the way for price controls on drugs, you can kiss the drug industry goodbye.

  • TallDave||

    Moore is the most smug, since he gets to tell people how bad America is, and have people cheer him for it.

    Ah, capitalism, still the unknown ideal.

  • Official Thread Judge||

    Yah, cause heaven knows, if you are trying to prove that government can't do anything right, it couldn't possibly matter that people are hoping for it and acting for it to fail.

    Clap harder! Tinkerbell's dying!

    Win.

  • Anonymous||

    MAYO ASKED TO SPREAD THIN,
    WHIPS OUT DISSENT

    TAXPAYERS PREPARE TEA,
    CHICKS JIGGLE TOMATOES

    PORK CONTINUES TO PILE,
    TUN(INSI)A NONPLUSSED

    BREAD REUNION CANCELED,
    STALE ACT

  • ||

    Can someone at Reason get the answers for me on this:

    Is Mayo 20 to 30% cheaper because it is located in the BF Minnesota. How do the costs of Mayo's other clinics in Scottsdale/Phoenix and Jacksonville, FL compare to other major medical centers in those areas. Not aware if another major medical center exists in Rochester, but use UF Shands in Gainesville for a comparison of Mayo Jax.

    Patients who can drag themselves to Rochester for treatment most likley paid their own airfare. Are Mayo patients wealthier than patients treated by University of Miami Miller School of Medicine doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

    And, speaking of Miami, are Medicare reimbursements per patient off the charts down here because a higher ratio of patients treated have that endless medicare well to draw from than in other parts of the country, like oh, Rochester, MN.

    Could someone get the answers to these questsion to me and Jeremy Piven's two brothers at the Whitte House.

  • robc||

    If they were the sort of angels Satan was, it would be.

    Nah, even then government would not be necessary, but for a different reason.

  • ||

    # Nick | July 20, 2009, 11:19pm | #

    # Legalize drugs and eliminate the doctor
    # requirement for getting an Rx.

    I completely agree with this, but boy wouldn't the AMA just howl.

    # Open up the medical schools to more people
    # so more people can treat patients. That's
    # rationing that's going on right now. Allow
    # nurses to perform more care. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Once health care is enshrined as everyone's right, as education is so enshrined in many States today, we will soon see shortages of medical professionals, as they buckle under increased workload, increased bureaucracy, and decreased compensation.

    Right now, Doctors and other established classes of medical professionals try to scare people away from free-market health care proposals by saying, "you don't want just anyone to be able to treat patients -- they need the same years of training and study as we have." But that is what teachers also said. When push came to shove, however, the States responded to teacher shortages by lowering the barriers to entry: Thousands of teachers were given "provisional" credentials to deal with the "emergency" situation. As the shortage emergency dragged on, these people continued to practice for years, and many still do.

    So will it be in medicine. Emergency licenses will be granted, new classes of "licensed medical professionals," with less rigorous requirements for training and experience, will be established, and we will, in effect, have practically the same situation we would have had under true free-market conditions. But the State will continue to maintain "authority" over the economic sector, and the patients will continue to bear the brunt.

    As I see it, success of the claim that we need to maintain "high standards" now by rejecting true free-market options in favor of enhanced socialization (and entrenched credentialing), will only postpone the inevitable day of reckoning by a few years at best, and when the fecal matter hits the fan, we will be better able to deal with it in a true free-market environment than in the highly political environment of socialized medicine.

  • ||

    wouldn't the AMA just howl.

    Of course they would. Cartels bitch like crazy if they're exposed to competition.

    -jcr

  • PR||

    you know what would be cool? if I could somehow be forced to "pool" my healthcare costs with a superfat fuck like michael moore.

  • David Pinto||

    Give me Ham on five, hold the Mayo!

  • ||

    There are two undeniable facts: 1. reform to the healthcare system is neccessary 2. reform will not come from those with a vested interest with the status quo ie. health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical firms, hospitals, physicians, and their lobbyists.

    You left out the various levels of government. They have a vested interest in maintaining and expanding the current system of state control and taxation/payment.

    Let's not pretend they are disinterested bystanders with no agenda of their own.

    If men were angels, governments would not be necessary.

    And if men were angels, government power wouldn't need to be strictly limited.

  • cranky hanky||

    Last summer I worked with some Canadians. They said, " Yeah A. Everyone has health care but half our pay check goes to the government." Let's all look forward to being broke.

    " A government that's big enough to give the people everything they want is big enough to take it all away..."

  • ||

    I JUST WANT TO BE HUMAN - I agree that we should hold off, on giving more money to those, who have done more destruction than good. I am "PROOF," that the current system in place, is in Extreme need, of a "Major Over Haul!" By my titled name alone, indicates that, "ILLEGAL HUMAN EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH TESTING," on unsuspecting people, Speaks Loudly and Clearly, that the Government can no longer afford, to "Finance ILLEGAL HUMAN EXPERIMENTS, AGAINST ITS' OWN CITIZENS! ADD GMAIL.COM AND YOU CAN CONTACT ME WITH YOUR COMMENTS.

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