In a Comic Book, Health Care Reform Explained

by Jay London on February 28, 2012

in Alumni Life, Economics, Health, In the News, Research

At about 1,900 pages and 400,000 words, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a heavy read. Trying to deduce all of the bill’s information can be, at best, time-consuming and, at worst, undecipherable.

Professor Jonathan Gruber ’87 sought to interpret this information for the general public in a straightforward way: through pictures. Using a comic book format, Gruber’s graphic novel, “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works,” explains and combats some common misconceptions about the new federal health reform law.

A longtime health economist, Gruber has worked with both political parties on health care reform. He worked alongside then-Governor Mitt Romney on the 2006 Massachusetts health care insurance reform law and advised President Barack Obama during the writing of the Affordable Care Act. He told New York’s Inside City Hall he was initially skeptical about doing the book, but quickly realized the comic-style medium was an effective way to translate information.

From Inside City Hall:

“…When you’re on airplane, and you want to know what to do in case of an accident, they hand you a comic. It’s a great way to teach people.

When we polled people and asked them whether they liked the bill, they were sort of skeptical. But when you explained what was in it, they liked it. We realized we needed to explain a very complicated concept clearly.”

In the 152-page book, an illustrated version of Gruber attempts to clarify information and combat misconceptions about the new federal health reform law. The book aims to answer bill-specific issues such as why health-care reform is important, what the individual insurance mandate is, and whether or not people will be required to buy health insurance that they cannot afford.

In the video below, Gruber uses animated illustrations to provide a short summary of points made in Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Vijay Tipnis February 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Please include a summary of the video in just a few lines.
Otherwise a good snapshot

Reply

Cant Believe-It March 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

I guess even MIT professors can be duped. This is the biggest crap I’ve seen in a while about Obamacare. I guess the comic book format is a fitting presentation…for the mindless. You didn’t mention much on how or who’ll be paying for a socialistic healthcare system. Hmmm…

Reply

C Fredbeck March 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm

He probably didn’t mention who’d pay for the “socialistic healthcare system” because we don’t have one. Maybe you should try to read a few more news sources, chief.

Reply

Jim Demers March 29, 2012 at 3:01 am

The guys who designed the system are “duped”? Hello?

Time to turn of Faux News — it’s you who’s being duped.

Reply

dee kat March 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

Where is your data, your facts on how this is incorrect? Is it your “Gut feelings?” What are the specifics of what you object to? It isn’t socialistic healthcare to begine with. In fact it is a Republican plan that benefits the insurance companies and health care providers. How it benefits individuals is that it prevents insurance companies from discriminating against women and people who actually need health care. It requires that everyone pay to have insurance which really isn’t any different that requiring people to pay for auto insurance.

Reply

B Wilson March 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Sadly, those who like ACA will probably love this comic book. Those who don’t will dismiss it as liberal propaganda. Just can’t get those horses to drink.

Reply

Donad Mott March 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Most opposition to ACA appears based on ideology or ignorance. While the comic format is useful to combat ignorance, those who are ideologically opposed will never be persuaded. This problem is also manifest with respect to global warming, evolution and other issues that deny the validity of scientific or rational analysis. Hopefully, the number of ignorant people that are willing to listen and learn about these issues is greater than the number of ideologs.

Reply

Russell Zagrodzky March 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm

1900 pages of magic…and wishful thinking. No one can understand how it will work out. The only certainty is that K Street rents will go up….along with costs.

One day, the poorly educated young will figure out that they will pay for this program, too.

Reply

Joe K March 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm

The only long term fix is to get rid of the health insurance system — which is what we have now — and implement a genuine health system.

But as long as the buggy-whip manufacturers can buy politicians to protect their profits, that isn’t going to happen.

Reply

Fern DoVale April 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

The problem with Obamacare is that it creates a 2 million employee government agency and hires 10,000 new Irs agents to administer. They will check up on doctors and insurance companies. To answer them the doctors and insurance companies will hire more people. This will double medical costs (just as HMO’s doubled medical costs by having insurance companies check up on Doctors). If Doctors check up on insurance companies and insurance companies check up on doctors, why do we need the governemnt checking up on both??
There is a clause in Obamacare that requires insurance companies to pay 85% of their fees in medical claims. Over 1300 companies have had to get an extension on meeting this clause becuase they could not find an insurance company that could meet the 85% rule. This clause is a catch-22 that will distroy the private insurance industry. My husbands large corporation has decided to stop insuring its employees when the exemption runs out in 2013 unless it gets an extension on when they have to comply with Obamacare. I thought we could keep our good insurance–this is screw the middle class with out their knowledge care!

Reply

genechase April 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Obama needs guts to say that ACA creates a new tax. It would break his campaign promise of no new taxes, but it would be honest.

How many in Congress who voted in favor of this bill read it? At 1,900 pages, I doubt that even one man or woman read it all. There was plenty of time to read it, since its provisions don’t go into effect until after the next national election.

How convenient for Obama.

Reply

Thomas Mestanza December 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I do believe all the ideas you have introduced for your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very quick for newbies. Could you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: