Senate and industry leaders push stagnant HIT bill

Senate and industry leaders met on Capitol Hill Wednesday to push a  healthcare IT bill that came close to passing by special vote last December but hasn't budged since.

The Wired for Healthcare Quality Act was nearly passed in December by special measures that require no open floor debate. Now the bill is once again in the spotlight, with strong opposition from privacy activists.

The bill, introduced in June by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) would provide a foundation for spurring the adoption of a nationwide healthcare IT system.

"We can save thousands of lives and conserve billions of dollars for health care with this one stroke, and we can do it this year," Kennedy said at a press conference co-hosted by the Business Roundtable. The roundtable is an association of CEOs from leading companies totaling $4.5 trillion in annual revenues, a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market.

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