Bad news….Very bad news….Bad, that is, if your name is Hillary or Barack or Newt or if you work for the Commonwealth Fund or if you are one of the innumerable health policy wonks who think that health spending can be controlled without choices, without markets, without competition, without any pain whatsoever – other than installing a few computers.
According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, health information technology by itself is unlikely to produce the significant cost savings projected by economic analysts and policymakers. This is a blow to:
- Hillary Clinton, who is counting on $50 billion in annual savings from health information technology (IT) and similar reforms to pay almost half the cost of her health reforms.
- Barack Obama, whose health advisors expect between $120 billion and $200 billion of savings.
- All other candidates for office this year who were counting on an IT fix to create a health care free lunch.