Scary Predictions

Merrill Goozner

Posted 11/26/11 on Gooz News

Writing in next week’s New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard professor David Blumenthal, former head of Medicare’s health information technology division, forecasts the following scenario should the Republicans win the White House and both houses of Congress next year and repeal most of the Affordable Care Act:

By 2020, 20% of Americans may be uninsured, even as 20% of our gross domestic product is devoted to health care.

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The Obama Team’s Success in Health IT


David Blumenthal, MD, National Coordinator for Health IT

Over at the Health Affairs Blog, David C. Kibbe and I have a piece that details how the Obama Administration’s Health IT team “unfroze” and turned around an entrenched Health IT market, and is making it, by virtually any measure, a highly successful one.

This was no small feat, and it took the coordinated effort of many, many people. With David’s counsel and encouragement, I was very proud to play a small part in testifying to an HHS panel in July 2009 on the apparent financial conflicts that were inherent in the relationship between HIMSS and CCHIT. That day of testimony facilitated extremely contentious exchanges, but was, in part, behind the decision to revoke CCHIT’s monopoly on certification, opening the door for new, more modern approaches in Health IT.

There were terrific contributions by many others who worked collaboratively and in good faith to craft the rules that would allow a better environment to the nation’s health IT to be nurtured and evolve. Particular mention should go to The Markle Foundation’s effort, led by Carol Diamond, MD, which brought many different constituencies together and shaped a consensus roadmap forward.

But, no question, the real heavy lifting and very strategic maneuvering was carried out by Dr. Blumenthal’s team along with Aneesh Chopra at the White House and Todd Park at HHS. Kudos to them. They have done the nation a great service.

Please check out the article at the HA Blog, where we go into much more detail.