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Obama Plans to Digitize Health Records

A special report from CNN.com states that Obama plans to digitize health records within the next five years. This is one of the endeavors to restore the economy as government estimates that this program will create around 212,000 jobs. However, there are some concerns about it because:

1) Commonwealth Fund, RAND, and Harvard have conducted independent studies which reveal that this program would cost between $75-100 billion dollars over the implementation period. The major cost will be incurred in traning the work force.

2) At present, only “about 8% of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals and 17% of its 800,000 physicians currently use the kind of common computerized record-keeping systems that Obama envisions for the whole nation.”

3) The privacy of patients must be protected as the nationalized system may be affected by system failures and hackers.

Obama asserts that this program will create new jobs, cut medical costs, and save $200-300 billion per year for the health industry.

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