The Obama recovery plan contains $19 billion to help American doctors computerize their records. Will Information Technology reduce the costs of healthcare and the incidence of medical error or make things worse? Also, the Federal Reserve may be saving credit markets, but who'll save the Fed? On Reporter's Notebook, on the sixth anniversary of the war in Iraq, what's the outlook for American veterans?
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Yesterday the Federal Reserve announced plans to essentially print up a trillion dollars in new money to buy up Treasury debt and mortgage-backed securities. Stock markets in Europe and Asia reacted favorably today, and Wall Street wavered between gains and losses. Dan Gross, business and economic columnist for Newsweek and Slate Magazine, is author of Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation.
Some studies show that information technology cuts costs and improves healthcare in medical groups with hundreds or thousands of doctors. But most American doctors practice in groups of just ten or less, and they can't afford it. There's $19 billion of stimulus money to help doctors make the necessary investments, but are the benefits worth the risks? It can cause errors and spread them to many patients at once. It can also depersonalize the doctor-patient relationship, and even supporters concede that privacy issues have not been resolved. We hear doctors disagree on a major element of the President's healthcare reform.
Farzad Mostashari, Assistant Commissioner, New York City Health Department
Stephen Soumerai, Director of the Drug Policy Research Program; Harvard Medical School
Anne Armstrong-Coben, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia University
Tom Sullivan, former President, Massachusetts Medical Society
After six years of deadly violence and the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars, the war in Iraq appears to be winding down. But, on this sixth anniversary of the invasion, what about the Americans who've made the biggest sacrifices of all, the military veterans and their families? The Pentagon has revised one it its most controversial policies, that of "stop-loss," under which soldiers who believe they are going to leave the military must continue to serve. Jon Soltz is chairman of VoteVets.org, a leading progressive group of military veterans.
Jon Soltz, Co-founder and Chairman, VoteVets.org