The money would go to "strengthen health IT policy, coordination, and research activities," which means it would likely be controlled by National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal (right).
There is also $286 million in the budget to expand comparative effectiveness research, learning what works and what doesn't, what's cost effective and what isn't. Much of that money would likely go out through the National Institutes of Health.
A Republican attack on the money has already begun.
Libertarian Bob Barr fears a government database. Republican Newt Gingrich wants the government to concentrate on Medicare fraud. How you do that without data isn't discussed, but when you're in opposition you don't have to answer questions, just question answers. (Democrats did the same thing.)
More to Gingrich's point there is $250 million in the budget for just what he wants, detecting more Medicare abuse through a program called the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT). Their Web address is StopMedicalFraud.gov.
The introduction of a budget is only the first step in a process, but financial bills can be passed by a majority in the Senate. No budget, however, gets past Congressional logrolling, no matter who proposes it, or past demagoguery, from both sides of the aisle.
Will the health IT money make it through? Only if money already budgeted is spent transparently. It would also help if experiments in using health IT to drive improvements in care, recently begun in Indiana and North Carolina, show some positive results.