By Joseph Goedert

It was a tiny reference, but President Obama mentioned the health IT funding provisions in the economic stimulus bill as non-negotiable during a February 3 interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

Asked what was not negotiable in the bill, Obama mentioned extended unemployment benefits, health insurance for those who have lost jobs, and providing relief to states and families. "Infrastructure investment that lays the groundwork for long-term growth, I think, is critical," he added.

Obama then used weatherization of homes as an example of projects that bring jobs and multiple other benefits, then tied in investments in health IT and education.

"When we say we're going to weatherize two million homes, that's not just make-work," Obama said. "First of all, you can employ people weatherizing those homes. We are also then saving individual families on their energy bills. But third, it's making this country less dependent on foreign oil. So, the same is true for health IT The same is true when it comes to education."

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