Stockton, California (PressExposure) February 26, 2009 -- The Obama administration will use the economic stimulus package seem, it has made serious progress in health of the presidential agenda, perhaps a softening of impact if Congress does not fully deal with this year.
Also, the bill set aside approximately $ 1 billion for a "prevention and the welfare fund." Approximately $ 300 million, that money would be to provide additional appropriations for immunizations. Most of the rest of that money goes to the state and communities to help them tackle smoking, obesity and various preventable health problems.
"This is the beginning stages of the presidential health reform vision," said Jenny Backus, a spokeswoman for Health and Human Services Department. "It is designed to ease the burden for people who need it most, and we will do all we can to reduce the cost of health care and improve access and quality."
When the legislation late on Friday, Congress approved the spending of about $ 19 billion over the next few years on electronic health records and an additional $ 1.1 billion in research comparing treatments that work best for a particular disease.
The government already used in hundreds of millions of dollars in such research. Democrats greatly increase spending, but they also set up a 15-member Council, whose members must report annually to the state of comparative effectiveness research and make recommendations.
Republican lawmakers insist that council should "government regulation of vessel", which gives life and death decisions about which treatments doctors can use.
"The Congress and Democrats are using the cover of the financial crisis, advance the agenda that will destroy the doctor-patient relationship, and we must, of course, state-administered health care," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., Doctor.
"The goal of this board is to do research that enables the federal government to ban needed health care," said Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif. To address the concerns Herger and other opponents of the law drafted by the said bill states that nothing in the legislation requires the Council to authorize the scope, compensation, or other policies of any public or private insurers.
Some Republicans took exception to that vision on Friday. They focused their criticism of the new Federal Council, to coordinate what is called comparative effectiveness research - when the doctors and statisticians sift patient information to determine which treatments work best for a particular disease.
Drug makers and medical-device manufacturers are conservative, that the Council will reduce the demand for some products if they are found to be more effective than cheaper alternatives. They are afraid of the recommendations could be used for Medicare said it would not pay for a particular treatment, a decision which is likely to be reflected in the private insurance companies.
Both the president Barack Obama and his 2008 election opponent, It. John McCain, R-Ariz. Called upon the comparative health research. They also talked about the need to create a patient-information computer, rather than relying on paper charts.
The bill calls for $ 17 billion in higher Medicare and Medicaid payments for physicians and hospitals, which begins in 2011, when they provide electronic health records.
Officials said the time is needed to set standards for providers of computer systems, if they are to receive compensation. Finally, Medicare rates will be cut to hospitals and doctors, who do not use electronic health records.
The bill also defines the reserve to $ 500 million to provide incentives for doctors, dentists and nurses to practice in communities with limited access to health care. The federal government provides scholarships and fellowships and to help pay off their student loans if they agree to certain communities, where there is a shortage of health care providers. "Do not want to spend our resources which will improve the treatment and what treatment will help?" Backus said. "There's broad consensus on the need for comparative effectiveness. This is not a partisan issue."
Administration officials said money for prevention programs will not only save lives, but also helps to stimulate the economy, when more workers are hired to provide cancer screening and counsel patients to stop tobacco products and to avoid complications from diabetes.