There is no doubt that the HITECH Act has been an important catalyst in helping jettison the healthcare industry into the 21st Century. A change that was desparately needed but one which would NOT likely have come about without a little help from Uncle Sam.
A central pillar of that mammoth, $800 billion dollar legislation, of course, is devoted to digitizing the nation's medical records and rewiring healthcare for the 21st century...
Although I agree with Michael that the Obama administration deserves credit for taking advantage of the political climate to "sneak this through," the reality is that some of the best and brightest had been working on the problem (both private and public sectors) for well over twenty years.
No one that knows anything about how Washington works believes that this huge piece of legisation sprang into existence after Obama took the oath of office.