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Navigators and Salespeople

9:44 AM, Aug 16, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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It isn't easy getting people to buy something they neither understand nor particularly want to own.  An example being Obamacare.  But the Department of Health and Human Services has a solution.

First, find some money – there is some, for instance, earmarked for prevention that is just lying around and not, at present preventing much of anything.  Then, spend the money to sell the program and employ "navigators" to assist people who find it complex bordering on incomprehensible.  

As Sam Baker of the Hill reports:

(HHS) announced $67 million in funding for “navigators,” which are people and community groups who will help people make sense of their options under the healthcare law.

Helping people make sense of the law seems like a good idea and perhaps they could start on Capitol Hill where people dropped over in a faint when they realized that they would be obliged to sign up.  Lucky for them President Obama found a way to help them come up with the necessary cash.  

And, $67 million sounds like a lot of money. Especially since it comes on top of a lot of other millions already on the books for the selling of the program. But when it comes to government programs, no matter how much money you throw at them, it is never enough.

As Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University and a supporter of the healthcare law, puts it:

“It’s nice to have a little more money, because these people have an awfully big job ahead of them ... But it’s still not what’s needed.”

Nice, indeed.  

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