Paid political letter: Pattern of closure

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, October 7, 2020

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Mayo Clinic’s continued pattern of service removal and clinic closures across Southern Minnesota is very concerning. Blooming Prairie is the latest small town to experience a clinic closure. At the onset of the pandemic, Mayo told residents that it needed to close its doors “temporarily” due to COVID-19, but Mayo has recently released a statement saying it will not be reopening the clinic, making it more difficult for rural residents to access the healthcare they need.

This latest closure came after Mayo reported $3.22 billion in second quarter revenue and $153 million in operating income. Operating in the black at this time is not the case for many rural hospitals, which only highlights the fact that Mayo is choosing to put profits over the needs of rural patients. It is also worth noting that Mayo Clinic has received $173 million in COVID-19 emergency relief funds from the CARES Act. That is taxpayer money designed to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

We must protect rural healthcare services and look for new solutions instead of accepting these losses. We must also defend Minnesota’s Medicaid expansion under the ACA which has increased overall payments to rural health providers. This pattern of consolidating services is unsustainable for rural Minnesota. Our leaders need to fight for our healthcare services or step aside.

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Thomas Martinez

Hayward, MN