American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

In recent days the House and Senate have approved different versions of the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)" (H.R. 1). The House approved the legislation on January 28 by a vote of 244-188 with no Republican support. Eleven House Democrats joined the Republican's in voting against the legislation. The Senate approved a modified version of the legislation on February 10 by a vote of 61-37 with 3 Republicans joining 58 Democrats in supporting the bill.

This legislation includes several health care provisions. including some supported by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Among them are investments in the training of primary care physicians (House), prevention and wellness (House), health information technology (House and Senate), and the creation of a federal body charged with conducting research on the comparative effectiveness of various health care tests and treatments (House and Senate).

These investments are aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of health care. The AOA is especially supportive of provisions that would make significant investments in the training of primary care physicians, improve funding for wellness and prevention activities, and make an initial down payment on the creation of a national interoperable health information system.

There have been widespread reports and commentaries this week that mischaracterize certain provisions of the legislation pertaining to health information technology and to comparative effectiveness research. This document is designed to clarify the legislation and provide answers to emerging concerns. Click here for a summary of the report: http://www.ooanet.org/pdf/american_recovery_reinvestment_act.pdf

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