Federal healthcare IT funding cut short

Federal efforts to advance healthcare IT will have to be made on half the amount President Bush hoped to get for next year.

In a heated 11th-hour compromise to create a funding package amenable to the president, healthcare IT came out short.

Congress approved Wednesday $61.3 million of the president’s requested $118 million for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

{The nation’s health IT system should NOT be funded at all, unless federal support for health technology is coupled with restoring Americans’ longstanding legal and ethical rights to control access to their health information and ending the systemic data mining and sale of health records by corporations and government agencies.  Congress gave HHS only half the requested funds for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). With half as much money, maybe ONC won’t be able to damage our privacy rights as much in 2008 as it did in 2007. Our tax dollars are being spent to harm every man, woman, and child in the US by destroying a cherished American freedom: the right to keep our sensitive personal health information private.~Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights}

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