Health IT Now! And That’s ‘Now’ with An Exclamation Mark

By September 10, 2008Health Care

From CQ Politics, “Coalition Promises Aggressive Push to Pass Health IT Bill This Year“:

Leaders of a health information technology coalition said Tuesday they would make an aggressive push and visit the offices of every House and Senate member to urge passage of health IT legislation before Congress adjourns for the elections.

The Health IT Now coalition, whose membership includes the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Association of Manufacturers and other health care and business groups, also estimated that health IT legislation has a 50 percent chance of passage this year.

“We have to have a bill this year,” said Nancy Johnson, coalition co-chairwoman and former Republican representative from Connecticut. Johnson noted that it could take a new administration up to a year to get up to speed on health IT issues. “We can’t afford that break in this process.”

The coalition sent a letter to the Hill on Tuesday making the case for action before Congress adjourns.

The House bill (HR 6357) authorizes $560 million in grants and loans to encourage the purchase and installation of electronic systems for collecting and transmitting health records. By its nature, the bill was referred to three separate committes; only Energy & Commerce has reported it out.

UPDATE (3:25 p.m.): And the NAM’s news release urging action. NAM was represented at the news conference by Drew Greenblatt, president and owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, Md.

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