The massive stimulus bill, complete with health care IT provisions, is quickly working its way through Congress. Originally there was a provision to require that health IT spending be directed only to US-made products. Thank goodness that provision was stripped from the final version.
It’s worth noting that it was Republicans who insisted on this foolish requirement. Remember that next time you hear Republican criticism of Democrats’ trade policy.
It’s critical that the US implement the best health IT systems there are, whatever their country of origin. And we should be promoting free trade in order to achieve sustained economic growth, not protectionist measures that echo some of the worst policy errors of the Great Depression.
The best IT systems include US and foreign contributions. It’s inane to insist on “made in America” measures.
Unfortunately, similar “buy American” provisions remain in the broader stimulus package.January 29, 2009