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As you probably know by now, President Obama signed the economic stimulus package today in Denver, Colorado.  (See signing ceremony in video below.)

 

 

 

 

Embedded video from CNN Video 

 

ARRA – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – otherwise known as the Economic Stimulus Package, has now become the law. 

In keeping his promises for an open government, President Obama has activated Recovery. gov, the live website where we will be able to track the progress of the stimulus act including projects in our own areas of the country.

Despite the challenges to the economic bill, and the lack of bipartisan support  (only 3 Republicans Senators voted in favor, zero Republicans in the House voted in favor), the recovery program allocates dollars to green technologies, infrastructure repair for roads and bridges, science, and education.

Also included in the bill is a modernization of medical records; records will be computerized to help save time and money.  Many medical records are still paper records with treatment instructions and drug dosages written by doctors in less-than-legible handwriting which is a source of confusion and, worse than that, danger to the patients.  The money allocated in today’s bill will set up a system of computerized records which can be accessed anywhere, anytime, by authorized personnel, preventing duplication and potential overdosing of medicines.

Even though most of us would agree that anything that can make our health care safer and faster is a good idea, the Republican Conservatives are setting about a campaign to frighten Amercans away from this innovation.

Former Lieutenant Govenor of New York Betsy McCaughey (pronounced “McCoy”) wrote an article for Bloomberg claiming that the stimulus bill contains “hidden provisions” which would take medical treatment decisions out of the hands of medical providers and making the Federal Government the decider in who gets medical treatment and how much care they get.

It turns out, however, that McCaughey’s integrity on this issue is less than honorable because McCaughey is evidently on the take from drug companies and medical suppliers in exchange for her anti-Obama rants against medical records reform.

Even though McCaughey’s opinion became hard news on Fox News after being preached by Rush Limbaugh, the truth behind it all is more of a conspiracy to propagandize and frighten the American people away from much-needed modernization.

MSNBC’s Countdown With Keith Olbermann first aired the holes in McCaughey’s story by pointing out that she is funded by drug suppliers and other special interests.

Just last night in “Worst Persons” Olbermann calls McCaughey a “shill” for pharmaceutical special interests in exchange for her Bloomberg piece (see video below).

   

Despite these controversies, one fact is clear:  the bill is now law and the economic recovery plan is now in process.  No matter which side of this issue you happen to be on, whether you are pro-Obama or are less than enthusiastic about him, I’m sure you will agree that helping America recover from this economic catastrophe and getting people back to work is something we all want.

Recovery.gov is a way for us to track this recovery’s progress but, more than that, we can also respond and input our ideas directly to the President on what we like, or don’t like, about what’s happening.  Being an American means being a participant in our future.  Unfortunately, in recent years up until now Obama’s Administration, we Amercans have been discouraged from actually participating – that ability being more available to special interests and big money.  Obama is keeping his word to us of “change” and, true to his campaign pledges, is making available legislation as well as the ability to share our ideas and opinions with him. 

Rather than “smear” campaigns that just belittle those doing it and waste the time of the rest of us, we have a way now through Recovery.gov to hold President Obama and Congress to spending the nearly $800 billion wisely and making this program work.

By the way, Recovery.gov also has a link to the text of ARRA but here’s the link:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ARRA_public_review/.

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