Mayo responds to controversy over CEO comments

Mayo Clinic president
Dr. John Noseworthy, president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic, announces a $5 billion proposal to build what the health provider is calling a "Destination Medical Center" in Rochester, Minn., and surrounding communities, at a news conference at the State Capitol on Jan. 30, 2013.
MPR Photo/Tom Scheck

Minnesota legislators are unhappy about what they view as a threat by Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy to take the clinic's expansion to another state.

In an appearance at the National Press Club this week, Noseworthy said that other states would be eager for Mayo to expand there if Minnesota does not provide a taxpayer subsidy.

"This isn't the first time the veiled threat was made but the timing of it frustrated some members of the House Tax Committee," reports MPR News' Tom Scheck. "DFL Rep. John Lesch of St. Paul said he was 'thoroughly disgusted' by the comments."

"I know it's hard to come in here and you can't say this about your CEO. But I'll say it, it was a dumb thing to say. It was dumb, dumb, dumb," Lesch said in a tax committee hearing yesterday. "This is not our first rodeo. We've had to weigh these kinds of considerations in the past and we look at it critically. These are taxpayer dollars."

Dr. Brad Narr, chair of the anesthesiology department at Mayo Clinic and medical director for Mayo Clinic's proposed Destination Medical Center, joins The Daily Circuit to discuss the controversy.

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