Obama Loves Mayo, But Mayo Does Not Love Him (Update: Gibbs Responds, Badly)
2:10 PM, Jul 20, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Throughout his push for health-care reform, President Obama has held up the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota as an example of great medicine at lower prices-something that could and should be emulated all over the country with guidance from his health care overhaul:
Obama, June 11: "And so what you've got is a situation where, for example, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is famous for some of the best quality and some of the lowest cost. People are healthier coming out of there, they do great."
Obama, June 24: "Well, I think what's important is to say to the American People that you should get the best possible care to make you well. And that the measure of the quality of care is not quantity, but whether or not it is making you better. Now, what we've seen is that there's some communities and some health systems that do this very well. Mayo Clinic, a classic example. In Rochester, Minnesota. People go there. They-- spend about 20-30 percent less than some other parts of the country, and yet have better outcomes."
Obama, July 1: "There are some places, like the Mayo Clinic -- many of you have heard of -- provides outstanding care, some of the best in the world. People fly in from everywhere to go to Mayo Clinic to get treatment. It turns out Mayo provides care much more cheaply than a lot of other health systems, even though it's better care."
Indeed, the Mayo Clinic is a model for great care at lower costs. If only Obama's health care plan, shaping up in Congress, promised to deliver anything like Mayo Clinic results. The Mayo Clinic does not approve. And, as he's pointed out, they should know.
Update: Jake Tapper asked Gibbs about the Mayo Clinic's assessment, and got very little: