When newly elected President Barack Obama was trying to sell the American public on the Affordable Care Act, he used the Mayo Clinic as his example. Speaking in Rochester, Minnesota in September 2009, Obama said:
“Look at what the Mayo Clinic is able to do. It’s got the best quality and the lowest cost of just about any system in the country. So what we want to do is we want to help the whole country learn from what Mayo is doing. . . . That will save everybody money.”
There is no doubt that the Mayo Clinic is one of the top rated hospitals in the nation. They are known for some of the most cutting edge medical breakthroughs and they perform around 250 surgeries every day.
But at end the of Obama’s admiration in 2009, Richard A. Cooper, Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania offered his explanation of why the Mayo Clinic was so good, saying:
“It’s not [Mayo’s] model. It’s their patients and money. If you have the money, you can attract good staff, good doctors, good nurses. You are going to force hospitals to find ways to avoid taking care of poor people just because they are going to be penalized because poor people cost more.”
Four years later and after Obamacare has gone into effect, we learn that the only Obamacare exchange plans the Mayo Clinic accepts is the Blue Cross Blue Shield silver plans. We are already finding out that many middle and poverty class Americans can’t afford the bottom of the line bronze plans, let alone the more expensive silver plans. It seems Cooper’s comments four years ago are still accurate.
So why would the Mayo Clinic limit their acceptance to only one Obamacare exchange plan, and that being more unaffordable to most Americans? It seems Gail Wilensky, an economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation understands why when she stated:
“Many companies have selectively entered the exchanges because they are concerned that (the exchanges) will be dominated by risky, high-using populations who wanted insurance [before Obamacare] and couldn’t afford it. They are pressed to narrow their networks to stay within the premiums.”
In other words, Obamacare was supposedly intended for the millions of Americans that couldn’t afford healthcare insurance and now high class hospitals won’t accept the few plans that some of the middle and poverty class are forced to purchase to avoid having to deal with us. This my friends is the hospital that President Obama was bragging about 4 years ago as being his model of a perfect medical facility. Now we know what he meant.