Rep. Jon Porter formally introduced his nice-guy ad content, er, electronic health care records bill Thursday. It even garnered the Nevada Republican a mention in the Washington Post.
"With tens of thousands of patients dying every year from preventable medical errors, it is imperative that we embrace available technologies and drastically improve the way medical records are handled and processed," Porter said in a release. And his bill will do just that -- for people who are fortunate enough to be covered by the federal employee health insurance program.
About nine million people belong to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. Under the program, 72 percent of the average premium is paid by the government.
We are of course delighted -- and not a little surprised -- to see Porter so concerned about the health and well-being of government employees and their loved ones. And we eagerly await Porter commercials conveniently neglecting to mention that the bill only applies to federal employees, their families, etc. -- commercials that no doubt will suggest by omission that the nice young congressman is "working to promote safer health care for Americans," or somesuch.
Enhanced electronic information transfer for the insured is fine, but it's pretty meaningless to the 45 million or so Americans who have no insurance at all. And Nevada, by the way, typically is among the top four or five states in the country in terms of having the highest percentage of uninsured people.
So tell you what, Jon. Call us when you introduce legislation extending the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program to the entire population, with the government paying 72 percent of everybody's premiums. Then we'll be impressed.