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Health Wonk Review: Campaign 2012

This week’s Health Wonk Review, hosted by Louise Norris of Colorado Health Insurance Insider, takes a theme of Campaign 2012, rather scary, given that primary season has just started, IMHO. My recent post about the two sides of GOP candidate Newt Gingrich and the reluctance of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss health reform beyond the insurance aspects is part of this rundown. It also apparently puts me in the running for Wonkiest Health Wonk of 2012—but, again, there is a long way to go.

I hope this is just the start of my campaign to get people to understand that health insurance is not healthcare and that having good insurance doesn’t mean you will get good care. It’s an uphill battle and I’m certainly not the best-funded candidate, but I’m in it for the long haul.

February 3, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Gingrich on EHRs in the 2009 stimulus

I don’t like to get political on this blog, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how the Newt Gingrich we’ve seen on the campaign trail of late is quite different from the Newt Gingrich who was a tireless advocate for health IT and EHRs from about 2004 to 2009.

Lately, Gingrich has, as primary candidates are wont to do, been pandering toward the more ideologically pure elements of his party, not addressing the center, as will be necessary during a general election. Notably, Gingrich has jumped on the “repeal Obamacare” bandwagon, essentially making the ridiculous argument that America does not need healthcare reform. That’s interesting, because Gingrich, after he left Congress, founded the Center for Health Transformation to push for technology-enabled health system improvement.

Back in 2004, Gingrich joined with strange bedfellow Hillary Clinton to advocate for a national, government-funded strategy to support adoption of health IT. That idea eventually morphed into the HITECH Act section of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus legislation. Gingrich, like most Republicans, opposed the bulk of the stimulus, but he was an ardent supporter of HITECH. Here’s the proof: Read more..

January 29, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.