A news item on Reuters recently is disturbing for those looking to take advantage of EHR subsidies or health information exchanges.
The report said some Republicans, anticipating winning a majority in the House, are planning to “defund” health care reform. A legislative analyst at the Brookings Institution said they could pass a bill barring the HHS (Health and Human Services Department) from writing or issuing regulations or engaging in any other federal activity related to the creation of health insurance exchanges.
This is possible because the massive health care reform bill passed earlier this year authorizes spending, but the actual cash must be appropriated in a second process. The bill had more than 100 separate authorizations calling for spending of well over $105 billion between now and 2019.
The subsidies for EHRs weren’t specifically mentioned, but they are projected to cost $5 billion, so they could be a target too.
No one can be sure what will happen, but that is the point. This kind of uncertainty makes planning difficult.