Digital Inclusion and the Affordable Care Act: Public Libraries, Politics, Policy, and Enrollment in “Obamacare”

Brian Real, Abigail J. McDermott, John Carlo Bertot, Paul T. Jaeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The period of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” positioned public libraries as a primary place for enrollment for individuals lacking sufficient levels of access or literacy to enroll on their own. Inclusion also thrust public libraries into the middle of a significant political and policy fray about the appropriateness and content of the law that encompassed national, state, and local politics. Building on the data from a national survey of the digital inclusion roles of public libraries, this article examines the health literacy and inclusion roles and initiatives of public libraries within the highly politicized context of health care following the passage of the ACA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalPublic Library Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
John Carlo Bertot is professor and co-director of the Information Policy & Access Center in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. John is editor of Government Information Quarterly and former co-editor of The Library Quarterly. Over the years, John has received funding for his research from the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Government Accountability Office, the American Library Association, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Publisher Copyright:
© , Published with license by Taylor & Francis.


  • Affordable Care Act
  • digital divide
  • digital inclusion
  • government information
  • health information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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