The recently enacted stimulus bill — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) — touches almost every aspect of the U.S. economy. Health care is no exception. In fact, the ARRA is historic health care legislation of the type rarely produced by our famously incremental federal government. The law prevents dramatic state cuts in Medicaid, expands funding for preventive health care services and health care research, and helps the unemployed buy health insurance. But perhaps its most profound effect on doctors and patients will result from its unprecedented $19 billion program to promote the adoption and use of health information technology (HIT) and especially electronic health records (EHRs).