Health IT as pork?

The lead editorial in today’s Chicago Tribune talks about a proposed “expansion of health-care entitlements” in the economic stimulus blll.

According to the Trib: “The House version of the stimulus package would … shower $20 billion on computer experts to help doctors convert to electronic medical records. That will create jobs but probably not quickly enough to make a difference in this struggling economy.”

To me, the word “shower” suggests an undeserved windfall. Yes, there are risks of wasting $20 billion on a poor implementation of health IT, but are people really seeing this as a giveaway simply meant to create work? This is about reining in runaway healthcare spending and, ultimately, saving lives, right?