Policy, Health IT

As DNC opens, here’s a look at Tim Kaine’s health IT record

His most obvious health IT legacy is the fact that two of his Cabinet members, Aneesh Chopra and Marilyn Tavenner, went on to hold key positions in the Obama administration.

(Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)

As the Democratic National Convention gets going in Philadelphia Monday night, lots of people are still just getting to know Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

Kaine may be a relative unknown outside his home state, but he’s got a pretty substantial record within the health IT sphere, as Politico reported Monday. Much of it came from when he was governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010.

His most obvious health IT legacy is the fact that two of his Cabinet members went on to hold key positions in the Obama administration. Aneesh Chopra, Kaine’s secretary of technology, became the first chief technology officer of the United States in 2010. (Chopra just penned an op-ed in The Hill supporting his former boss.)

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2011 to 2015, served as Virginia secretary of Health and Human Resources during Kaine’s governorship.

While Kaine was in Virginia’s Executive Mansion in Richmond, he pushed through a law creating reimbursement parity for telemedicine. He also helped build up what’s now known as the Karen S. Rheuban Center for Telehealth at the University of Virginia.

He has continued his support for telehealth since joining the U.S. Senate in 2013. Just this month, he and colleague Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) announced upwards of $700,000 in  U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for telemedicine and distance learning projects in their state.

Of course, none of that will matter for, oh, at least 99 percent of likely voters in the Nov. 8 general election, particularly since we’re talking about the VP candidate. When people have such strong opinions about Clinton and Republican opponent Donald Trump, do you think they care about what the running mate did for health IT?

Photo: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage via Getty Images