Hannity tries to pit Mayo Clinic against Obama on health care reform


Congress seems to be in a full-out frenzy lately to rush health care reform through to the president, which has led to some missteps and confusion over future plans of health care in the United States. As you'd expect, some of those proposed reforms aren't the best options and medical professionals have been there step-by-step to call out some of the changes they find less than stellar.

So when the Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, put out a statement about one of the committee's proposed provisions for health care reform, Fox News's starlet Sean Hannity pounced and quickly over-dramatized the life out of it. Media Matters called him out, pulling together the evidence.

Hannity decided this one statement meant that Mayo Clinic "slam(med) Obama's health proposal" and took it to the extreme. So much for context these days. You won't believe some of the phrases Hannity pulled into one sentence.

Watch his report here, thanks to Media Matters:

Hannity refers to this statement from the Mayo Clinic July 16:

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.

Here is Hannity's money quote summarizing that statement:
"The president has been praising the Mayo Clinic's model of health care but wait until you hear what they have to say about his nanny state, cradle to the grave, womb to the tomb, nationalized health care socialized system."
Unfortunately he fails to mention that Mayo Clinic supports universal health care. They signed on to a letter to Congress, released today, supporting much of Obama's reform plan.

An excerpt:

We wholeheartedly support President Obama's call for healthcare reform, and agree with his position that "the status quo is the one option that is not on the table". We applaud the House and the Senate for their ongoing efforts to obtain universal coverage for all Americans.

The President challenged you and your colleagues to look to high quality efficient healthcare providers for ways to improve health care. Congress must encourage all U.S. physicians and hospitals to focus on quality, not quantity, and ultimately deliver better health for all Americans at lower cost.

While it's fair to say the Mayo Clinic has been critical of some of the Democrat-supported reform provisions, it is flat-out disingenuous to claim Mayo Clinic "slammed" Obama or is completely against his reform plans. Hannity is yet again proving to be a screechy spin-pundit who is doing more damage than good for the legitimate health care debate in Congress.