Ohio clinic touted by Obama slashes budget due to ObamaCare

An Ohio clinic that was touted by Obama while he was speaking on health care reform is now blaming ObamaCare after it was forced to cut $330 million from its budget.

Fox 8 reports the Cleveland Clinic, which is the largest employer in Northeast Ohio with about 39,000 workers in the region, announced the cuts to its 2014 budget at a meeting Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the clinic tells Fox News the clinic is being forced to cut back to prepare for increased costs and decreased revenue under the health care reform law.

These changes will include offering early retirement to approximately 3,000 employees, reducing operational costs, and then layoffs as needed.

The clinic says its main priority is to continue to provide a high quality of care during the transition, an attribute that led Obama to tout it in 2009 as an example of what hospitals could be under ObamaCare.

In a press conference in July of that year, Obama said the Cleveland Clinic is an example of health care that works “well.”

“And part of the reason it works well is because they've set up a system where patient care is the number-one concern, not bureaucracy, what forms have to be filled out, what do we get reimbursed for,” Obama said. “Those are changes that I think the American people want to see.”

Now four years later, employees at the clinic say they are worried they won’t be able to provide patients care at all anymore if they are laid off.

“It absolutely concerns me,” employee Joanne Lyons told Fox 8. “Everybody wants to keep their job and we want to do the best that we can do, but it’s a new era and we don’t know what to expect. But I believe the administration is just trying to prepare for whatever could happen and make sure that we’re strong.”

Clinic officials tell Fox 8 their situation is not unique, as hospitals nationwide are being forced to cut back due to ObamaCare.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did not comment when asked about the budget cuts to the Cleveland Clinic at a press briefing.

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