POLICY: The (Very) Odd Couple


This week Hillary Clinton met with Newt Gingrich and together they declared
unity and agreement on America’s health care future —  at least as far as the
role of information technology goes in it. 

The author of "The Great Right Wing Conspiracy" cosying up with the woman who dreamed up "HillaryCare?" 

That surprising sight led to an immediate media
freakout. What could it all mean?  Could some sort of earth-shattering political announcement be about to follow? 

The New York Times sheds some light on things:

"As it turns out, Mr. Gingrich and Mrs. Clinton have a lot more in
common now that they have left behind the politics of the 1990’s, when
she was a symbol of the liberal excesses of the Clinton White House and
he was a fiery spokesman for a resurgent conservative movement in

Both Clinton and Gingrich seem to agree that government should help fund the technological transformation of the healthcare industry.  Historically, the implications of this kind of bipartisanship are big indeed.  Well, sort of.  Providers and payers can expect more legislation impacting information
technology, but realistically probably not much more
money from the feds.   

care veterans may recall the last time significant legislation affecting health
care IT was passed: in 1996, when the Senate voted 100-0 in favor of the
Kennedy-Kassenbaum legislation. That law is better known today as HIPAA. Ten
years later payers and providers are still struggling with the implications.  So cast
a jaundiced eye when you hear that Washington is preparing to intervene. 

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