Corporatists or Crony Capitalists?You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

First, it was the banksters; then Fannie, Freddie and the Wall Street crony capitalists. Then it was suspending the rule of law for the Chrysler bondholders. Then it was GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt being appointed Chief Apparatchik of Obama’s Private Sector Jobs Pogrom. (Immelt’s qualifications for this position were 1- spending millions lobbying for “green” regulations and subsidies specifically favoring GE, 2- exporting over 20,000 jobs from the United States and, 3- large contributions to the Democrats and Barack Obama.)

Following Mr. Immelt we get Judith Faulkner:
Democrat donor gets federal health policy slot despite conflicts of interest.

A federal committee that includes a major donor to President Obama and whose company stands to profit from the panel’s recommendations holds in its hands the future of health information technology policy.

Judith Faulkner, founder and CEO of Epic Systems Corp., secured a seat on a panel charged with recommending how $19 billion in stimulus money dedicated to health IT be spent, despite opposing a key administration position on the issue.

Faulkner and her company oppose the president’s vision for health IT, but Epic employees are massive Democratic donors. They’ve given nearly $300,000 to Democrats since 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

That may help explain both Faulkner’s appointment to the 13-member Health Information Technology Policy Committee as a representative for health IT vendors, and the accolades her company regularly enjoys from prominent Democrats…

Faulkner told Bloomberg News in 2009 that sharing medical records “doesn’t work when you mix and match vendors. … It has to be one system, or it can be dangerous for patients.”

Apparently the terms “X12 EDI” and “W3C” would not signify anything to Ms Faulkner. These are reliable, long standing methods for efficient and accurate exchange of information between computer systems.

Standards controlled by a single technology vendor are “standards”. Look at Microsoft, they earned a de facto status as “standard”, used it to suppress competition, and got sued by federal anti-trust enforcers. Bill Gates’ mistake was never being appointed to a government committee to decide what the mandated personal computer operating system, word processor and spreadsheet would be.

Call these latter day “captains of industry” Crony Capitalists, Corporatists or proto-Fascist* dupes. The part that is worrisome for the United States is that our State Crony Corp. no longer thinks they need hide this.

*Mussolini, after all, called his nation’s system “the corporate state”; political and economic power were vested in a cross-industry cartel controlled by the state.

P.S. Isn’t it amazing they are still deciding how to spend “stimulus” money while the statist economics gurus whine that the stimulus didn’t work because it was too small?

Update Oct 5-2011, 5:41PM
A comment from Veronica Alverston:

I see here you’re talking about how Judy Faulkner got a health policy slot in the Obama administration. This article explains how to contact a congressmen to urge an investigation of Faulkner – – I really think this goes hand in hand with your article.

Indeed it does.

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