The Plain Dealer, September 29, 2011
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich said that the Cleveland Clinic isn't providing its "fair share" of health care for the region's poor. The Cleveland Democrat urged the region's major hospitals to work together on providing care to the poor after MetroHealth System said it would cut 450 jobs because of losses due at least in part due to providing health care to the poor. Kucinich, who has a history of fighting for hospital solvency, said the region's medical centers need to share the financial burden of those who can't pay for their own care. "We have to have a whole new discussion in our community about every institution sharing equally in the burden of uncompensated care," Kucinich said at a news conference at his offices in Lakewood. "It is time to put this on the table." Kucinich, who released a report of the region's uncompensated care, said the Clinic should have provided an additional $44 million in uncompensated care between 2006 and 2009. In contrast, MetroHealth provided $20 million and University Hospitals $23 million more than their fair share for the same period, he said.