Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Some Libraries Resist Assisting ObamaCare – Some Librarians Express Concerns


I am hoping that the federal government can do a bit more to provide resources for librarians about ACA.

Back in my public library days, it wasn’t easy working with patrons when the topic was against my views!

However, I always tried to address people’s information needs without bias and as completely as possible with factual information.

“ObamaCare” questions are in the same arena.  While librarians cannot advise or fill out forms, they can at least lead folks to factual information. However, this would work best if the federal government would do everything possible to lighten the load for libraries.  This would include providing readable materials for consumers, as well as “pathways” for librarians.

Also, libraries can welcome trained volunteers and organizations to give in-depth information to folks. Many already do this around tax time with IRS trained volunteers.

Here in Toledo, folks from legal aid organizations “set up shop” in public libraries to assist folks. Representatives from the Ohio Benefit Bank do likewise. These volunteers screen people for government assistance programs as SNAP and the Medicare Savings Program.

It sure would be great if government employees and/or trained volunteers could do likewise for “ObamaCare”.  Areas could include the health exchange marketplace, Medicaid expansion, free preventative care, and more.

And with articles as this, there is a real need for information professionals, including librarians!

Ohio insurance department claims Obamacare premium rates to rise 41 percent (Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 1, 2013)

Ohio insurance regulators Thursday released rates for health insurance to be sold on the new state marketplace and said premiums for individuals will rise an average of 41 percent compared with 2013 rates.
That average brought immediate condemnation from critics of the Affordable Care Act, with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a southwest Ohio Republican, calling it “irrefutable evidence” that the law known as Obamacare is driving up costs and hurting the economy……..
Related articles

21st Century Library Blog

While I’ve been busy with other things, I let this issue raised at ALA slip past unnoticed. Issues in library world don’t go unnoticed for very long, especially when they deal with government intrusion. Apparently, during ALA 2013 Conference a video was played in which there was a White House appeal to public librarians to help Americans understand the new Affordable Healthcare Act insurance system that goes into effect whenever – maybe. This federal initiative to get public libraries involved in assisting people to sign up goes into effect October 1.

As much as I dislike relying on news media for any valid information, a Washington Times online article “Librarian foot soldiers enlisted to help with Obamacare enrollment” published June 29 states:

CHICAGO — The nation’s librarians will be recruited to help people get signed up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Up to 17,000…

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August 2, 2013 - Posted by | health care, Librarian Resources | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Well said.

    I have these questions.

    1) When I write about how library filtering works well, the anti filtering advocates consistently remove my comments when technically feasible to do so. So they essentially shape the message to include only one side–theirs. I expect the same kind of behavior regarding ObamaCare. What can be done to stop librarians from shaping the message to include only one side–theirs?

    2) The library community bends over backwards to protect patron privacy. For example, the four decade leader of the ALA stated in the New York Times that she wished Florida library patron law would have been followed instead of what happened, namely, a Delran librarian reported the presence of an actual 9/11 terrorist to the police days after 9/11. And so on. So librarians are all for patron privacy. Along comes ObamaCare. It is a privacy nightmare–the biggest ever and by far. I cannot figure out how librarians can support the biggest privacy invasion ever and by far. Can you?

    Comment by Dan Kleinman | August 6, 2013 | Reply

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