A headline today at the Minnesota Independent notes: Poll: Majority of Minnesotans ‘embarrassed’ by Bachmann.
Recent news coming from Rochester may help illustrate why Minnesotans feel that way. Yesterday, Mayo's Health Policy Blog posted this entry (emphasis added):
We have been asked about the financial impact of health care reform bills on Mayo Clinic. We reiterate that both the House and Senate bills include important steps toward creating a more equitable and higher value health care system, consistent with the cornerstones of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center. We believe that reform provisions, which set the stage to rework the way Medicare pays for care (with the goal of transforming the current payment methods) have the potential to improve incentives for high quality doctors and hospitals and make it more possible for them to offer the highest quality care at the most reasonable cost.
We have concerns about some of the across-the-board cuts in Medicare payments associated with the proposed legislation, which are a continuation of historical approaches to cutting prices rather than addressing utilization of care. However, we cannot quantify the net impact of those cuts with any level of specificity. In addition, the potential positive and negative financial impact of several reform provisions can not be quantified at this point.
Expanding insurance coverage to more Americans is the right thing to do, and will also have a financial effect on providers. Doctors and hospitals will see fewer financial losses from charity care and bad debt. Yet, to the extent that this is accomplished through Medicaid expansion, it will result in more patients being cared for in a system that reimburses below cost and does not reward good care provided at a reasonable cost.
We are confident that expanding insurance coverage and moving Medicare in the direction of paying for value will positively transform health care delivery in the United States. Reforming health care in America is essential. The status quo is not sustainable, and Mayo Clinic remains firmly committed to moving forward with patient-centered reform.
While the Mayo Clinic's Health Policy Center is optimistic that the pay-for-quality reforms in the bill are good step and cautiously guarded about the across-the-board cuts, the gentlewoman from Minnesota's Sixth was quite confident that Mayo would suffer thirty percent cuts in federal funding in her remarks to the audience at a campaign event for MN01 GOP congressional hopeful Allen Quist.
In a video clip that accompanies the Rochester Post Bulletin's coverage of the campaign event, Bachmann's remarks about the cuts begin at 2:15, right after she carries on about the since-debunked tale about Japanese citizens being denied medical care after they criticize their government:
As I noted in an earlier post, Has Michele Bachmann backed away from tort reform? Rochester editors think so, the PB was effusive in its praise for the editors imagined to be the case in what Bachmann didn't say about medical liability reform at the Allen Quist campaign event, and urged everyone to listen to Bachmann on her next visit to Rochester.
Curious recommendation by the editors, given that very little in the video provided by the paper withstands scrutiny. The clip is mostly Bachmann carrying on about the how the Japanese health care system is used to censor criticism of Japan's government (debunking noted in the BSP post, Bachmann smears Japanese health system at Quist campaign event) and her claims about a 30 percent cut to Mayo.
For myself, I think I'll pay more attention to the Mayo Clinic Health Care Policy Center and those leaders who invite Mayo Clinic providers with expertise in health care policy to join them at town halls.
Photo: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann via Minnesota Independent.