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Healthcare IT, Politics & the Election Tomorrow

by John Moore | November 03, 2008

We do not like to venture down the path of healthcare policy discussions for the simple reason that there are far too many people far brighter and knowledgeable than us on the subject who we defer to, and besides, where would our differentiation be in what is already an extremely crowded market of political & policy pundits?

Yes, that realm is not the place for us.

But John Halamka has taken a stab at it, albeit a very “high-level” one, as to the differences between the McCain and Obama healthcare IT (HIT) policy platforms. Based on Halamka’s review, pretty clear that McCain’s HIT policy is about as informed as his use of technology. Quoting a NYTimes interview from this past summer…

He said, ruefully, that he had not mastered how to use the Internet and relied on his wife and aides like Mark Salter, a senior adviser, and Brooke Buchanan, his press secretary, to get him online to read newspapers (though he prefers reading those the old-fashioned way) and political Web sites and blogs.

“They go on for me,” he said. “I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself.

Obama appears to be more “up-to-speed” on HIT but the details remain exasperatingly thin. Heard Senator John Kerry speak last week at the Connected for Health event where all in attendance were hoping for some insight on future healthcare legislation, particularly as it pertained to HIT. Big time disappointment as Senator Kerry was about as ill-informed on HIT as McCain appears to be.

Either way you lean, do not expect any drastic changes in the near-term for HIT adoption and use and more broadly, healthcare policy as this sector is littered with vested interests who all have their fingers in the pie. Removing those fingers will not be easy, in fact it will most likely require a surgical procedure, like cutting them off.

No, healthcare reform and HIT adoption are not the most pressing issues today, (“Its the economy stu*id”) but there are certainly plenty of other reasons to get out and vote.

Add-on note: ZDNet just published an article today more broadly assessing the candidates and their potential impact to IT secotr.

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