The Obama administration is shifting into high gear to roll out Obamacare, and the latest conscripts are your local librarians who are being tasked promoting the law, especially in conservative states where the law is acutely unpopular.
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 U.S. libraries will be part of the effort to get information and crucial computer time to the millions of uninsured Americans who need to get coverage under the law. …
Libraries equipped with public computers and Internet access already serve as a bridge across the digital divide, so it made sense to get them involved, said Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. …
Libraries also have public spaces where meetings can be held. And they already provide health information to 28 million people a year via public access computers, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal grant-making agency, which will coordinate the new effort with CMS. The two federal agencies also worked together during the rollout of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, experience that should help with this effort, Bataille said.
Libraries will be particularly important in conservative states that are not making much effort to promote the health law’s opportunities.
More objectionable than the idea of selling Obamacare is the idea that all government employees are now apparently free agent bureaucrats ready to promote the policies of whoever happens to be in charge now.
Kudos to the Obama administration for recognizing this new use for libraries. With the internet and e-books killing the book lending business, libraries have become little more than community rooms with free internet. And now they’re being politicized, and the librarians turned into an army of community organizers.
What’s next? “Deputizing the postal service, another institution that’s being laid to waste by technology, to start selling policies door to door,” writes Allah.
It wouldn’t surprise me.