The Washington Examiner’s Lachlan Markay broke news this week about the appointment of a major liberal donor, Judith Faulkner, CEO of Epic Systems Corporation, to the Health & Human Services Health Information Technology Policy Committee. Markay reports that Judy Faulkner was appointed to a stimulus-created board that is charged with disbursing billions of taxpayer dollars for health information technology adoption despite her opposition to the administration’s interoperability goals, which require that health records be shareable across platforms.
Faulkner and her company oppose the president’s vision for health IT, but Epic employees are massive Democratic donors. They’ve given nearly $300,000 to Democrats since 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Faulkner is also the sole representative for the health IT industry on the committee, which has the power to set industry standards. Does anyone doubt that any adopted standards will work to the benefit of Epic Systems? This is a serious conflict of interest for Epic Systems and the Department of Health and Human Services. It is, however, a fairly predictable conflict of interest, highlighting one of the myriad objections to central planning known as regulatory capture. Simply put, regulatory capture is when government agencies work in the interest of specific commercial interests instead of their original charter, and is extremely common due to the fact that industry has the strongest incentive to assume control of the regulatory process. Given this, why should Americans trust any decision made by HHS on Health IT policy?
Read the whole thing.