Last month, the White House kicked off an initiative – in conjunction with the American Library Association – that would pay librarians to help the public understand Obamacare. This effort tapped libraries because they are considered an influential resource in their communities.
But now, the most transparent administration in history has vetoed public viewing of a video, recorded for Sunday’s American Library Association conference, in which Obama thanks librarians for helping people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The District Dispatch, a web site for the library association’s Washington office made this announcement:
The special message from the White House will air on Sunday, June 30, 2013, at 8:30a.m. in the McCormick Convention Center, room South 100C. President Obama will discuss ways that libraries will serve as a place where consumers can seek information about and enroll in the health insurance marketplace that will begin October 1, 2013.
Shortly after the video announcement, the ALA Washington Office will team up with several organizations and government agencies to host “Libraries & Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1,” a session that will teach library leaders how to serve patrons with the new Affordable Care Act program. The session will be held on Sunday, June 30, 2013, from 1:00–2:30p.m. in McCormick Place Convention Center room S501BCD.
“We were specifically told by the White House to only show it [the video] once to conference attendees, and [the] White House said we aren’t able to send it out,” Jazzy Wright, press officer the library association’s Washington, D.C. office, told the Washington Examiner.
During its annual meeting in Chicago last weekend the association, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) foundation, agreed to “navigate” the issue by handing out White House-approved information and to help the president spread the word about Obamacare, according to the Examiner.
A White House spokesman would not comment on why the video would not be shared with the public. Sports teams and other organizations have declined requests to help promote Obamacare, and the mandate requiring employers to provide minimum standards of health insurance has been delayed.