Other Important Initiatives
Congressman Tierney has been an outspoken advocate and staunch supporter of legislation to provide expanded health insurance coverage to 4 million otherwise uninsured American children. This important effort was included in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Re-authorization legislation which signed into law by President Obama in February 2009.
Additionally, early in the 111th Congress, John supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was a direct response to the economic crisis, that focused on the immediate goals of creating new jobs and saving existing ones, spurring economic activity and investing in long-term growth and fostering unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending. ARRA also will protect an estimated 7 million Americans who lost their jobs through a 65 percent COBRA subsidy to make coverage affordable. The Act further seeks to reduce future costs and improve the quality of care while ensuring patients' privacy by investing $19 billion in electronic medical records (EHRs), health information technology (health IT) and training the next generation of doctors and nurses.
The health IT funds are currently being distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and thus far Massachusetts has received more than $39 million for health IT related projects, including: technical assistance, training, and other support services to help physicians and other providers in the adoption and meaningful use of EHR systems; and support efforts at the state level to establish and implement appropriate governance, policies, and network services within the broader national framework to build capacity for connectivity between and among providers.