He may finally be allowing Marvel to publish a Fantastic Four comic, but billionaire and Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter has found another much-desired project for which he can become a major obstacle. Perlmutter serves as an advisor to President Donald Trump on matters of veterans' healthcare and donated millions to Trump during and after the election. Perlmutter's influence helped oust former VA Secretary David Shulkin, and now Perlmutter and his West Palm Beach associate, Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, have been blocking a plan to modernize the VA's medical records, according to a report from Politico.
Perlmutter and Moskowitz have been in on several monthly calls about the proposed 10-year upgrade project, focusing mainly on Moskowitz's objections to Cerner Corp, the company chosen to enact the reforms. For example, Moskowitz is unimpressed with Cerner software he's personally used while practicing as a physician in Florida, complaining about the lack of features such as voice recognition. The company does produce software with voice recognition, however, but the software Moskowitz is familiar with is reportedly out of date. The decision to use Cerner was made in June of 2017 but has yet to move forward.
Of course, Moskowitz's hesitancy to move forward with the company could be well founded. The military reportedly uses Cerner tech for records and has experienced glitches with the software. Perlmutter himself seems to have a vested interest in moving VA reform along. He was instrumental in getting the administration's first VA healthcare reform bill passed, and, along with Moskowitz, arranging meetings between the Trump administration and medical bigwigs in the first place. Perlmutter and his wife, Laura, who served on Donald Trump's inauguration committee, are famous for their philanthropy in the medical industry.
So while progress is stalled, it's entirely possible that Perlmutter and Moskowitz do in fact know what they're talking about, and their objections have merit. What seems to be confounding VA officials is apparently the amount of influence Moskowitz, not an official advisor, wields. Of course, as a friend of Ike Perlmutter, it should be no surprise that Moskowitz's opinion holds water. Perlmutter is as close to a friend as Donald Trump has, spending weekends with the President at Mar-a-Lago and even dining with him on Thanksgiving.
While veterans may be forced to wait on a modernized medical records system, the Politico report predicts the deal with Cerner will eventually move forward. In the meantime, while Marvel's Chairman is distracted by less important matters, and thanks to a looming acquisition of Fox by Disney and Fox, fans can enjoy the return of favorite characters like the Fantastic Four, even if some portion of the cover price eventually ends up in Perlmutter's pocket, and thereby probably in Donald Trump's 2020 campaign coffers. But you probably don't want to look too closely at where the money you spend on any major corporate product is going, if we're being totally honest with ourselves.