Public wants to adopt NHIN, unconcerned about candidates health IT plans

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A majority of Americans favor the development of a nationwide health information network (NHIN), according to a poll taken this month taken by research firms American Viewpoint and the Mellman Group. The poll was conducted at the request of HIMSS.

American Viewpoint reported that 57 percent of those surveyed approve of developing a NHIN, while 30 percent oppose it. The remaining 12 percent said they did not have enough information to form an opinion.

However, most of those polled said a presidential candidate’s position on NHIN development would not make a difference in their decision to vote for that candidate.

Representatives for five presidential candidates outlined their positions on health IT on Monday at the HIMSS’ public policy forum in Washington. D.C. Yet, Mark Mellman of the Mellman Group said that health IT is not a central concern for many voters. 

Although some in the audience complained that the platforms had an absence of details, Fred Hannett, chairman of the HIMSS government relations roundtable, said it was notable that most of the major candidates had health IT in their platforms at all.

The most ambitious proposal came from Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), who aims to spend $10 billion a year for five years on health IT. Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), who proposed spending $3 billion per year if elected, won a straw poll of the audience.

Two GOP candidates were represented, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Mitt Romney.