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Rochester ‘held hostage’ by Mayo Clinic’s giant expansion, New Republic says

Story likens the Mayo Clinic efforts to the Vikings’ veiled threat to move if the team didn’t get a new tax-funded stadium.

A story today in the New Republic looks at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic $5.6 billion expansion, which includes $585 million in state tax money to pay for infrastructure during the 20-year project.

The tone of the article is made clear by the headline:

Held Hostage by a Hospital: The Mayo Clinic is making Rochester, Minn., double in size—and billing residents for it

The story says that the clinic, worried that Obamacare will cut into its profits, is entering an international medical arms race and “betting its future on its ability to lure an greater percentage of the wealthiest and sickest patients to its dazzling high-tech hospitals.”

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Says the story:

“In order to accomplish this, though, Mayo has decided that Rochester, population 108,000, needs to double in size, too—that a small Midwestern city surrounded by endless cornfields must transform itself into one of America’s most dynamic, overachieving medium-sized cities: a Boulder, Colorado, or Madison, Wisconsin, but overrun with doctors instead of outdoorsmen.”

And, the story says, to convince state officials to help pay for the expansion, the clinic used tactics similar to the way many sports teams threaten to move if they don’t get new tax-payer supported stadiums.

“… [Mayo] president and CEO, Dr. John Noseworthy, said in an April interview that ‘there are 49 states that would like us to invest in them.’ “