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Blunt Healthcare Amendment Adopted During Energy & Commerce Committee Markup
Date:1/23/2009

Blunt Offers Amendments to protect patients, help rural broadband development

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An amendment offered by Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt tonight to protect patients from medical errors was adopted by unanimous consent.

The amendment was offered during the Energy & Commerce Committee's markup of the Democrats' $825 billion stimulus plan.

"As we move to a standard, secure electronic system to store our medical records, it only makes sense that all healthcare providers have access to that information," Blunt said. "Pharmacists know the medicines we're taking better than anyone else and serve as an important last line of defense by catching potentially harmful reactions and side effects.

"My amendment assures that they still have access to this important information for the good of their patients."

Blunt's amendment was offered during the markup of the health portions of the stimulus package. The amendment ensures pharmacists can view their patients' medical records in order to reduce medication errors and improve patient safety.

Under Blunt's amendment pharmacists maintain access to the same information available to doctors.

Blunt also offered an amendment to the telecommunications portion of the bill to require that none of the $2.8 billion in the stimulus for expanding broadband and advanced wireless technology can go to "underserved" areas before "unserved" areas. "Unserved" areas are those that currently do not have access to the technology according to guidelines to be created by the Federal Communications Commission.

Democrats voted en bloc against Blunt's amendment, largely designed to help rural areas.


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SOURCE House Republican Whip Roy Blunt
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