Now it's Jeb's turn to hail health IT

GOP presidential hopeful says he'll repeal Obamacare
By Bernie Monegain
04:14 PM
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Jeb Bush

More than a decade after his brother, President George W. Bush, mentioned healthcare information technology in his Jan. 20, 2004, State of the Union Address, Jeb Bush has cited health IT as a means of promoting innovation in healthcare.

His mention came first in an Oct. 12 opinion piece published in the conservative New Hampshire daily newspaper, The Manchester Union Leader, and then again the next day in a speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.
 

More than a decade after his brother, President George W. Bush, mentioned healthcare information technology in his Jan. 20, 2004, State of the Union Address, Jeb Bush has cited health IT as a means of promoting innovation in healthcare.

His mention came first in an Oct. 12 opinion piece published in the conservative New Hampshire daily newspaper, The Manchester Union Leader, and then again the next day in a speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

The opinion piece, "Incentives, not mandates, will bring down health care costs," calls for repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

[See also: Supreme Court upholds subsidies in 6-3 vote]

"One of the biggest flaws of Obamacare – something that was easily predicted by those who read the bill before it became law -- is that it resulted in skyrocketing health care premiums across the country," Bush wrote in his opinion piece.

He used the same words when he spoke on Oct. 13 at St. Anselm College.

"Innovations, not mandates, will bring down health care costs," Bush told the audience, according to a New York Times report. "If we're going to fix health care in this country, we need to wrest control away from Washington and give it back to the states, citizens and their care providers."

As outlined by Bush in the Union Leader and at St. Anselm College, here is his nine-point plan to make healthcare centered on the individual and to enable innovation to make care more accessible, convenient, personal and affordable."

  • Provide support for the purchase of affordable, portable health plans that protect Americans from high-cost medical events. states the accountability and freedom they need to improve care and outcomes for the most vulnerable in our society.
  • Help Americans with out-of-pocket costs by enabling individuals to save $6,550 a year in a Health Savings Account (HSA) and making associated health plans work for individuals with chronic conditions.
  • Insist on costs and outcomes transparency so patients have the information they need to make value-conscious decisions about their care.
  • Encourage states to guarantee access for those with pre-existing conditions and to make affordable health plans available in their states.
  • Give individuals a $12,000 tax break on the health benefits they receive through their employer -- a reform that will encourage lower insurance premiums and higher wages.
  • Allow employers to use financial incentives to promote wellness and care for chronic medical conditions.
  • Enable small businesses to make tax-free contributions for their workers' individual, portable health plans.
  • Promote innovation by enabling health information technology, modernizing the Food and Drug Administration, investing in the National Institutes of Health, and facilitating big data solutions in health care.
  • Give states the accountability and freedom they need to improve care and outcomes for the most vulnerable in our society.

George W. Bush's call for the broader use of healthcare IT was part of a plan to move healthcare from a paper-based industry to a digital one. In 2004, he established the Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare Information Technology by executive order.

A page on the White House website archives dedicated to President Bush's Technology Agenda described his health IT push this way:

"Transforming Health Care through Health Information Technology: President Bush believes that innovations in electronic medical records and the secure exchange of medical information will help transform health care in America - improving health care quality, reducing health care costs, preventing medical errors, improving administrative efficiencies, reducing paperwork, and increasing access to affordable health care. The President has set an ambitious goal of assuring that most Americans have electronic health records within the next 10 years."

Just a few months ago, on April 15, George W. Bush, still had plenty to say about healthcare IT at HIMSS15, where he keynoted and then sat down for a one on one with HIMSS President and CEO H. Stephen Lieber.

It's a "logical solution," Bush said. "Logical solutions become inevitable." Sure, more than 10 years later there are still challenges related to, say, more widespread interoperability. But "it's coming. Things don't happen overnight."

See also:

George W. Bush on health IT: 'Logical solutions become inevitable
President Bush continues EHR push, sets national goals