This would be a good time to be in D.C.

With the recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus plan, Washington is abuzz with ideas and strategies of how to implement the new law, including the $19.2 billion allocated for health IT.

Of note, Health Affairs is holding a half-day briefing next Tuesday on stimulating HIT. It’s from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Click here for RSVP information.

This week, as in tomorrow, the Cato Institute is holding a policy forum on the comparative-effectiveness research portion of ARRA. The event, set for noon at Cato’s headquarters, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., is titled, “Should Government Deliver Comparative-Effectiveness Research – or Can It?” There also will be a live Webcast from the same link.

Seriously, though, what’s the point? We certainly know Cato’s answer to the question it posed: always err on the side of less government. While it’s always good to have checks and balances on power, it does seem like the train has already left the station on this one. This would be a good time, however, to chime in on the Obama administration’s other proposals, including the proposed Health and Human Services budget for fiscal year 2010. I’m sure there is plenty to criticize in there.

I also just noticed that will have live streaming video of the Katherine Sebelius nomination for HHS secretary at 1 p.m. EST today. That’s about 15 minutes from right now, so I’m sorry for the short notice.