Local guest reacts to State of the Union

President Barack Obama

KIMT News 3 — Troubles with the new health care exchange’s website did not help restore confidence in President Obama this past year.

He used Tuesday night’s State of the Union address to help bring the faith in the country’s leaders back up.

Obama highlighted a range of topics during his hour plus State of the Union address, many touching on the economy.

“The income inequality, better jobs, more jobs, immigration, climate change, things of that nature,” said Political Analyst Dr. Eric Shoars.

One guest was waiting for talk about the health care industry, that would be Mayo Clinic’s President and CEO Dr. John Noseworthy.

The guest of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said that there were a few main things he took away that pertained to Mayo’s work. One being the need to fully fund medical research and the other saying that the health care system is broken.

“That’s quite a strong statement by the president and opens the path as we go forward to true health care reform,” Noseworthy said.

He said the president made sure to say that the Affordable Care Act is health insurance reform instead of health care reform.

“The primary purpose and strength of that bill is to extend access to insurance to the underinsured and the uninsured and expanding Medicaid,” Noseworthy said.

A lot of what the president was saying may have already been forgotten.

“A lot of Americans are looking at him with skepticism over are they really getting the truth or are they getting a campaign speech?” Shoars said.

That is part of the reason Obama took much of his time to show his frustration with Congress.

“You have a lot of Democrats in Congress that might not be willing to work with the president because they’re looking at their own reelection bids and they’ve got to regain favor with their constituents,” Shoars said.

While much of the work must be done in Washington, Noseworthy knows that they can get started on some of it right away.

“To begin to unleash the power of technology in helping us provide care at a distance in rural America and also focusing on the inner city,” Noseworthy said.

He said that dozens of elected officials and their guests told him about the great experiences they have had at the Mayo Clinic.

He said he is very happy to bring that news back to the staff who are a huge part of that success.

Noseworthy said the event was a great learning experience. He added that it is clear on what needs to be done moving forward, including finding care with better outcomes at a more affordable cost. That is something he said Mayo is already working on.

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