Invest $10 Billion a Year on Implementing Electronic Health System

Promise in the Works President Obama is working on the following promise:

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records." —


Other promises regarding health care.


Updated: January 15, 2009

Stimulating electronic health records

Certainly no one is happy that the U.S. economy is in such bad shape that policymakers are talking about a stimulus plan that could cost more than $500 billion. But an unintended benefit for Barack Obama is that the bill gives him a chance to make good on a number of his more expensive campaign promises.

Obama discussed the broad outline of his hopes for the bill in a speech at George Mason University on Jan. 8, 2009.

"It is not just another public-works program," Obama said. "It's a plan that recognizes both the paradox and the promise of this moment — the fact that there are millions of Americans trying to find work even as all around the country there's so much work to be done. That's why we'll invest in priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century."

Democrats in the U.S. House released a broad outline of what they hope to include in the 2009 stimulus bill and it contained many ideas Obama promised during the campaign, including $2 billion (with a promise of $18 billion more to come) for the electronic exchange and use of health information.


U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Web site, Summary: American Recovery and Reinvestment, Bill Text, (pdfs) published and accessed Jan. 15, 2009.

New York Times, Barack Obama speech on the economy, Jan. 8, 2009.

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