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President Obama: Three New Initiatives to Help Community Health Centers

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after signing a memorandum expanding government funded health clinics across the country, Dec. 9, 2009

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after signing a memorandum expanding government funded health clinics across the country

White House.gov—Two causes all Americans can get behind are initiatives to improve our health care system and create jobs in a struggling economy. In an effort to accomplish both at once, today President Obama announced that $600 million in stimulus money will go towards improving community health centers across the country:

Starting today, we’re making $88 million in funding available for centers to adopt new health information technology systems to manage their administrative and financial matters and transfer old paper files to electronic medical records. These investments won’t just increase efficiency and lower costs, they’ll improve the quality of care as well –- preventing countless medical errors, and allowing providers to spend less time with paperwork and more time with patients.

That’s the purpose of the final initiative I’m announcing today as well -– a demonstration project to evaluate the benefits of the “medical home” model of care that many of our health centers aspire to. The idea here is very simple: that in order for care to be effective, it needs to be coordinated. It’s a model where the center that serves as your medical home might help you keep track of your prescriptions, or get the referrals you need, or work with you to develop a plan of care that ensures your providers are working together to keep you healthy.

So taken together, these three initiatives –- funding for construction, technology, and a medical home demonstration –- they won’t just save money over the long term and create more jobs, they’re also going to give more people the peace of mind of knowing that health care will be there for them and their families when they need it.

And ultimately, that’s what health insurance reform is really about. That’s what the members of Congress here today will be voting on in the coming weeks.

Now, let me just end by saying a little bit about this broader effort. I know it’s been a long road. I know it’s been a tough fight. But I also know the reason we’ve taken up this cause is the very same reason why so many members from both parties are here today –- because no matter what our politics are, we know that when it comes to health care, the people we serve deserve better.

President Obama announces that the Recovery Act will provide new funding for Community Health Centers to finance new construction, modernize information technology, and build a “medical home” model. December 9, 2009

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Filed under Barack Obama, Change, Computers, Democrats, Health, Health Care Reform, Kathleen Sebelius (Sec of HHS), Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Stimulus, TARP, Technology, United States, Video/YouTube

The Care They Were Promised and the Benefits That They Have Earned

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama presents new proposals to care for veterans to an audience of Wounded Warriors in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on 4/9/09.

President Barack Obama presents new proposals to care for veterans to an audience of Wounded Warriors in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on 4/9/09.

It’s time to give our veterans a 21st-century VA. Over the past few months we’ve made much progress towards that end, and today I’m pleased to announce some new progress.
Under the leadership of Secretary Gates and Secretary Shinseki, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have taken a first step towards creating one unified lifetime electronic health record for members of our armed services that will contain their administrative and medical information — from the day they first enlist to the day that they are laid to rest.

Currently, there is no comprehensive system in place that allows for a streamlined transition of health records between DOD and the VA. And that results in extraordinary hardship for a awful lot of veterans, who end up finding their records lost, unable to get their benefits processed in a timely fashion. I can’t tell you how many stories that I heard during the course of the last several years, first as a United States senator and then as a candidate, about veterans who were finding it almost impossible to get the benefits that they had earned despite the fact that their disabilities or their needs were evident for all to see.

And that’s why I’m asking both departments to work together to define and build a seamless system of integration with a simple goal: When a member of the Armed Forces separates from the military, he or she will no longer have to walk paperwork from a DOD duty station to a local VA health center; their electronic records will transition along with them and remain with them forever.~~President Barack Obama

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden inspects the 18th Airborne Corps with CSM Allen and Lt. General Austin at the units' welcome home ceremonies at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden inspects the 18th Airborne Corps with CSM Allen and Lt. General Austin at the units' welcome home ceremonies at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Wednesday, April 8, 2009

If we only have $10 to spend in the entire federal government, then we are convinced that we have to spend six of it caring for those who come home in need. We will spend all six before we spend it on anything else — on the elderly, on children, on the poor, on our roads, on our security — because this is the only genuinely sacred obligation this nation has. The service that you and thousands and thousands of others who went before you in Iraq over the last six years — the services you’ve performed have come at great cost for some. Some of our warriors and their families have paid a much steeper price than others. Some had given their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, and we honor their memory.

But the best way to honor their memory, of those thousands — over 14,000 seriously injured coming home from the wars which we are engaged in and have been engaged in — we owe them the obligation to — we know we can never fully repay it, but we know we owe them the obligation to provide them the absolute best medical care and service they need. Some will need that for the rest of their lives. Their life expectancies will be 35 to 40 years, and some will need care for the entirety of those lives.~~Vice President Joe Biden

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Filed under Army, Computers, Marines, Military, Navy, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Reserve, Robert M. Gates (Sec of Defense), Technology, Uncategorized, Veterans, Vice-President Joe Biden