What Will Hillary Clinton’s Campaign do for Health IT?

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What Will Hillary Clinton’s Campaign do for Health IT?

TL;DR
Healthcare reform has been a major component of Hillary Clinton’s efforts politically. If elected to president how will some of her campaign promises effect healthcare in general?


Hillary Clinton’s & Health IT

On Sunday, April 12, 2015, Hillary Rodham Clinton officially announced her intent to run for the office of United States President. Though it is a move that has long been expected from the former Secretary of State, it does raise the question of what to expect from her campaign.

Clinton’s political career has spanned decades as she has stood by former President Bill Clinton as First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, and moved on to become Senator for the state of New York and then the United States Secretary of State.

Health care reform has been a major component of her efforts. In 1993, in her position as First Lady, Hillary Clinton was put in charge of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform under President Bill Clinton’s administration. While the plan developed by the task force faced strong opposition from Congress and did not pass, Clinton has remained progressive regarding the country’s health care system. During her first run in the 2008 Democratic primaries, a large chunk of her platform was based on improving health coverage for the nation.

Predictably, she holds a positive stance regarding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and she has been a very firm and vocal supporter. Having become quite an active member of the Twittersphere, Clinton tweeted in March 2015, saying “Repeal of the ACA would let insurers write their own rules again, and wipe out coverage for 16 million Americans.” Another tweet celebrated the progress made by the legislation: “#ACA@5: 16m covered. Young ppl. Preexisting conditions. Women get better coverage. Repeal those things? Embrace them!”

There is concern from opponents that Clinton’s approach will mimic Obama’s. However, in a 2014 PBS NewsHour interview, she suggested the best course of action was for politicians to collaborate and improve the ACA rather than simply throw it out. Making the effort to revise the policy and work together is what might make her stand out.

Last year, Clinton appeared as a Keynote speaker at the 2014 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference and spoke about the significance of adopting electronic health records in this day and age. Addressing the direction health IT has been taking, she approved, saying, “We are finally seeing the promise of electronic health records, leaving behind the outdated, obsolete, 20th century…ways that records were kept.” She went on to thank attendees, “What you have done over the last decades has given us the raw materials and the means for making decisions that can revolutionize healthcare.” (Healthcare IT News)

Her support doesn’t come as a surprise. Even back in 2007 her policies included implementation of electronic records. At the SEIU Democratic Health Care Forum, she proposed requiring federal health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid to utilize EHRs. She stated, “After Hurricane Katrina I went down to Houston…and a lot of doctors told me their biggest problem was trying to figure out what prescriptions to give people. The only people they could help were the people who had shopped at chain drug stores because they had electronic medical records.” A 2008 CNET article talked about Clinton’s support for EHRs where she agreed that digital records were the next step in refining the health care system, not only for financial stability, but also for providing better patient care.

Now that her presidential candidacy has been made official, we can anticipate that her campaign will include a push to continue employing EHR technology as well as furthering health care initiatives.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi

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