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.