Will Obama's Plan Create Jobs in the U.S. or Abroad?

I’ll bet you that President-elect Barack Obama's job math will be fuzzy when he details the part of the $800 billion or so stimulus going to improve health care IT.

Many of the planned health care IT improvements, eliminating paper, creating portable electronic documents for patients and building vast databases to connect it all, involve application development and maintenance, which is the bread and butter of the offshore industry.

There is no doubt that this development work will be sent offshore by U.S. IT firms. Overseas firms may bid directly for this work but will likely get it as subcontractors.

For those IT workers lucky enough to avoid job loss because of this federally funded IT contractor invasion, another fate awaits them. The government health care reforms will likely homogenize systems by mandating common reporting standards and forms, which will also reduce the need for IT workers.

The stimulus will, at first, look as if it is creating jobs but once the IT knowledge is transferred to the contractors, the cutting will begin.

For IT workers in healthcare, the stimulus will be their job Armageddon. Their jobs will disappear as health care IT is simplified, consolidated and probably turned over to cloud/SaaS providers, some of whom will be managing these applications offshore.

Note to readers: As I get details of stimulus and it's IT impact, I'll be microblogging on twitter @dcgov

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