The Machinery Behind Health-Care Reform
How an Industry Lobby Scored a Swift, Unexpected Victory by Channeling Billions to Electronic Records
Robert O'Harrow, Jr
When President Obama won approval for his $787 billion stimulus package in February, large sections of the 407-page bill focused on a push for new technology that would not stimulate the economy for years.
The inclusion of as much as $36.5 billion in spending to create a nationwide network of electronic health records fulfilled one of Obama's key campaign promises -- to launch the reform of America's costly health-care system.
But it was more than a political victory for the new administration. It also represented a triumph for an influential trade group whose members now stand to gain billions in taxpayer dollars.
A Washington Post review found that the trade group, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, had worked closely with technology vendors, researchers and other allies in a sophisticated, decade-long campaign to shape public opinion and win over Washington's political machinery.
Automation certainly makes sense, but we taxpayers should not be subsidizing it....
Posted by James Zellmer at May 16, 2009 6:58 AM
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