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Will health IT push back against populist Luddism?

Health IT is being scapegoated here, on a partisan basis, and as much as the industry may want to be non-partisan or bi-partisan, its goals may not be met unless it starts to push back hard.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

Health IT has become a very partisan issue over the last week. But its advocates have yet to acknowledge this.

Populist conservatives have become a rising tide of opposition to computerized health records, fearing that if data is combined socialism or (worse) Hillarycare is just around the corner.

The industry's main supporter is President Obama, who repeated in his Ft. Myers town meeting today that health care needs to be computerized just as banking is.

Liberals are also starting to cry foul over some of the arguments, but the industry that will benefit most from the bill is keeping its support low key. So far.

HIMSS has sent out press releases noting the support of hospital CIOs for the plan and supporting electronic health records. HIMSS president H. Stephen Lieber was an Obama supporter last year and previously gave to Democratic House member Patrick Kennedy.

AdvaMed has a tighter rope to walk. It supports the stimulus but its president, Stephen Ubl (above), was a Republican contributor last year.

The opponents' main weapon is a piece we reported on yesterday from Betsy McGaughey McCaughey of the Hudson Institute, who insists it will eliminate needed care.

This has since been echoed throughout the Republican echo chamber. Safe, effective treatments soon to be limited by cost, immediately chimed in the WorldNet Daily, citing McGaughey's hit piece.

Rush Limbaugh also highlighted the piece, calling it "a column at Bloomberg" so as to attach the news service's credibility to her charges. And so it goes.

Health IT is being scapegoated here, on a partisan basis, and as much as the industry may want to be non-partisan or bipartisan, its goals may not be met unless it starts to push back hard.

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