The Mayo Clinic opposes a public plan, and the dissonance facing progressive health reformers

Health reformers often cite the Mayo Clinic as a model for how all medical practices should look like.

It’s often mentioned by the President, and indeed, studies do back up their claims of higher quality, lower cost, care.

But in a recent piece from the Washington Post, some are questioning whether the stellar results from the Mayo are due to demographics. The Mayo Clinic has a very low Medicaid patient population, perhaps because they make these patients pay a premium to use the hospital’s services.

To me, the most telling statistic is that Mayo Clinic outposts in other areas of the country, like Jacksonville and Phoenix, have spending rates comparable to local hospitals.

In any case, there’s a bit of a dissonance for progressive reformers who espouse the Mayo way. The hospital is staunchly opposed to a public plan option, which will financially hurt the institution. Health reformers should be careful when constantly pointing to the Mayo as the ideal medical model, because politically, their interests are not aligned.

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