Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Editorials -

“The Tea Party’s back­lash against the fed­eral govern­ment en­vi­sions a re­turn to an ear­lier, sup­pos­edly golden era in ... his­tory. Rep. Paul Ryan’s bud­get plan ... would es­sen­tially pri­va­tize Medi­care and Med­i­caid while low­er­ing taxes on the top in­come bracket to their pre-1930 rate. House Repub­li­cans’ plan to solve the re­cent debt cri­sis would have shrunk the govern­ment to its 1950s size. ... Con­ser­va­tive plans like these would ef­fec­tively re­peal ... (the) New Deal. So, what would a world with­out the New Deal look like? ... A fight for eco­nomic sur­vival with no co­or­di­nated ef­fort at re­cov­ery.”

—David Weiman in the Wash­ing­ton­Post “Even with the all-too-de­press­ing il­lus­tra­tions of po­lit­i­cal paral­y­sis we’ve seen re­cently, govern­ment can still act to im­prove our lives. A good case in point: The U.S. health sec­tor is rapidly dig­i­tiz­ing, and fed­eral leg­is­la­tion from early 2009 ... is an im­por­tant rea­son why. Just five years ago, only 12% of doc­tors and 11% of hos­pi­tals had com­pre­hen­sive IT sys­tems in place. With no dig­i­tal records to mea­sure pa­tient progress and guide doc­tors on best prac­tices, it’s not sur­pris­ing that cost and qual­ity of care have var­ied wildly … Over the next five years we will ex­pe­ri­ence a sub­stan­tial ex­pan­sion in health IT. That dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion, in turn, is cen­tral to im­prov­ing value in health­care.”

—Peter Orszag at Bloomberg.com

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