Sunday, November 10, 2013

Will journalists be asked to help consumers navigate the technical problems of Obamacare as hires or "volunteers")?

Here’s a challenging idea: Hire journalists to help consumers navigate the vexing Obamacare website and find the best deals for the consumers on the exchanges.  
The link for the story by Sally Kohn is here.
It’s become apparent that many of the individual policies that got destroyed by Obamacare weren’t very good, and tended to leave low income consumers with huge debts.  
Kohn thinks that journalists (or “reporters”) will be better able than the general public to navigate the deals on the site and deal with state differences, once the site starts to improve.  States with their own exchanges, as well as states with or without the Medicaid expansion, will present their own issues.
I recall that administration had jawboned non-profit groups to sign up people by going door to door.  That sounds cheesy,  But it sounds credible that the administration, or that consortiums of insurance companies (especially Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans) would hire journalists or even accomplished bloggers as part-time consultants to help consumers.  Or would this violate the idea that journalists remain impartial and objective? Does this sound like “grab a hammer”? 

There ares some companies (agents) who are set up to help consumers, like Health Markets, here, but they are sales people, not journalists. 

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