Democrat Megadonor Judy Faulkner Attempts to Block Trump Healthcare Rule

Judy Faulkner
Epic Systems

Democrat megadonor and healthcare executive Judy Faulkner has tried to block a Trump healthcare rule that would cut healthcare costs, grant patients more control over their healthcare data, and preserve her company’s dominant status in the electronic healthcare record market.

President Donald Trump is attempting to finalize a Health and Human Services (HHS) rule that would allow for interoperability, or the ability for healthcare providers to share patients’ information between healthcare providers, as proscribed by the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Trump proposal would make it easier for healthcare providers, insurers, and patients to exchange health data by requiring that providers and insurers adopt standard application programming interfaces (APIs), or protocols that connect healthcare technology systems with third-party apps.

The rule is in its final stages at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The proposal would forbid electronic health record (EHR) companies from blocking the flow of healthcare information between healthcare companies or to patients.

However, despite the rule’s potential benefit to the healthcare industry and patients, one major Democrat donor opposes the rule’s adoption.

Judy Faulkner, the CEO of EHR company Epic Systems, and 60 other healthcare companies urged the Trump administration to change or stop the rule.

However, some of the largest health systems have not signed the Epic letter to the Trump administration.

David Brailer, the first national coordinator for health information technology, said, “Their absence represents a thundering silence. Many health systems are quietly discussing how the data access and data fluidity actually benefits them in the long run.”

Faulkner’s letter to the Trump administration has engendered frustration from HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

Azar said that the Trump interoperability rule would fix the “outdated” status quo in healthcare records.

“Health records today are stored in a segmented, balkanized system,” Azar said in January 2020.

Azar said, “Unfortunately, some are defending the balkanized, outdated status quo and fighting our proposals fiercely.”

He added that defending the current healthcare record system is “a pretty unpopular place to be.”

The HHS secretary said that the Trump proposal serves as part of the administration’s vision to put “patients at the center of American health care.”

Faulkner has even said that she might sue HHS if the department finalized the rules without addressing her company’s concerns.

Azar said that he will not submit to corporate attempts to scare the administration away from finalizing the proposal.

“Scare tactics are not going to stop the reforms we need,” Azar said.

Kenneth Mandl, the healthcare director at Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School, and Isaac S. Kohane, a biomedical professor at Harvard Medical School, wrote an op-ed in January slamming Faulkner’s opposition to the Trump administration healthcare rule.

The healthcare scholars noted that Epic is a “major beneficiary” of a $48 billion Obama-era program to promote the adoption of EHRs.

Further, they wrote that Epic has a “monopolized” control over the EHR market. According to a 2019 report, Epic controls 58 percent of the EHR market. Further, EHR competitor Cerner and Epic control 85 percent of the EHR market.

“By opposing the rule at this pivotal moment, Epic is doubling down on its monopolistic hold on American health care and would be blocking vital improvements in it,” Mandl and Kohane contended.

They added that the Trump administration rule will help American patients, writing:

Interoperability, along with better and more affordable information flow, will benefit patients, improve outcomes, and reduce costs and waste by the health system. The proposed rule would also meaningfully enforce individuals’ right to access digital copies of their health records, something that was theoretically possible under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Judy has served as a longtime Democrat donor, including:

  • $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2004
  • $28,500 to the DNC in March 2008
  • $20,000 to the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in July 2009
  • $30,000 to the DCCC in March 2011
  • $30,000 to the DCCC in March 2012

Mandl and Kohane wrote that Faulkner should end her opposition to the healthcare rule and allow the Trump administration to better patients’ lives.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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