GOP's New 'Pledge to America' Puts $19B in HIT Stimulus Funds at Risk

House Republicans' newly released legislative agenda, "A Pledge to America," includes a call to cancel any unspent money from the economic stimulus program, according to a report by the New York Times.

Unspent stimulus funding would include $19 billion in healthcare IT incentives that HHS plans to dole out to hospitals and physicians offices that upgrade their IT systems to meet federal "meaningful use" criteria.

House GOP leaders did not specifically address HIT funding, but their pledge included plans to roll back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels before the TARP and stimulus bills were passed, saving $100 billion in the first year alone.

As part of stimulus fudning, each hospital could receive as much as $11 millionb and physicians' offices could receive as much as $44,000 to $64,000 per physician. The 21-page plan also calls for the repeal of the healthcare reform law, presuming a GOP takeover of Congress in the November elections. In any case, President Obama would be expected to veto GOP actions against both the healthcare reform and stimulus acts.

"A Pledge to America" is divided into five policy areas: the economy, government spending, healthcare, government reform and national security. "Across America, the people see a government in Washington that isn't listening, doesn't get it and doesn't care," said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Read the New York Times report on healthcare IT.

Read coverage on healthcare IT.

- National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal: Whether Detailed Standards or Competition Drive EMRs Yet to Be Seen

- HHS Starts Talks on 2013 Measures for Second Stage of Meaningful Use




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