Big Donor to Democrats Appointed to Obamacare Policy Panel

We’ve seen it over and over with the Obama administration. All one need do to become a “czar” or get a plum appointment to yet another Obama regulatory board is to donate big money to Obama’s campaigns specifically or the Democrats in general. Now it’s happened again.

The Washington Examiner’s Lachlan Markay reports that Judith Faulkner, founder and CEO of Epic Systems Corp., has been awarded a seat on the 13-member Health Information Technology Policy Committee, an Obamacare board charged with recommending how $19 billion in stimulus money gets spent on healthcare IT systems.

Faulkner and her employees have been big donors to Democrats having donated over $30,000 to Democrats since 2006.

To a normal American, this record of big donations to the Democrat Party and the self interests Faulkner has in the industry she is supposed to be assessing might seem like a conflict of interest. Republicans must investigate how a long-time, left-wing donor could be appointed to this HHS board.

Interestingly, Faulkner has voiced opposition to Obama’s policy of multivendor “interoperability,” an idea that many different IT providers can integrate their products and software into a nationalized system. Faulkner has said that she supports a single vendor, stand-alone system because multiple vendors won’t work.

“[It] doesn’t work when you mix and match vendors,” she told Bloombeg News in 2009. “It has to be one system, or it can be dangerous for patients.”

Faulkner’s Epic Systems touts it’s interoperability, but really only works when users are utilizing Epic software.

Markay notes, though, that the Obama administration has used clients of Epic Systems as examples of what the nation should follow.

Obama himself has mentioned Geisinger Health System, Kaiser Permanente, the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic — all of which use Epic software — as “examples of how we can make the entire health care system more efficient.”

He specifically lauded health IT as a cost-saving measure: “They’ve got health information technologies so that when you take a test, it actually gets forwarded to the next doctor and the next doctor and to the nurse and the pharmacist, so that there aren’t any errors.”

Only a few days before, Obama claimed that the Cleveland Clinic “has one of the best health information technology systems in the country.” That system was made by Epic.

Additionally, Markey reports that Epic Systems has recently gotten a $14 million contract with the U.S. Coast Guard for its electronic medical records systems.

In any case, the whole deal seems to be politics as usual in Washington D.C. Donate big money to the party in charge and get plum appointments to boards or regulatory agencies where you can advocate for your own business at the public’s expense.

So much for “change you can believe in.

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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