A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would provide $4 billion in health information technology grants over five years to qualified providers who see poor patients or those covered by either Medicare, Medicaid or the State Childrens Health Insurance Program.
Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), co-sponsors of the Health Information Technology Act, said that the bill would help tamp down healthcare costs and create more efficient care practices.
As healthcare costs continue to soar and devastate middle-class families that are already hurting, this legislation can reduce costs, while improving care, Stabenow said in a written statement.
The legislation comes at the same time that the National Research Council issued a report critical of how health IT systems are being used by a number of major health centers and one day after President-elect Barack Obama called for a $50 billion investment in order to provide all Americans with an electronic heath record within the next five years.
The lawmakers also sent a letter to Obama urging him to consider their legislation a blueprint for broader healthcare reform.