Peanut butter and chocolate, macaroni and cheese, Batman and Robin, all things that go great together. With the publication of Jonathan Gruber’s book “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why Its Necessary and How It Works” we can add graphic novels and health care policy to the list of great pairs.
We in health care policy often wrestle with taking very wonky concepts and attempting to translate them to a language that is people friendly. When it comes to the ACA and its 1,900 pages this task becomes even more difficult.
Gruber (along with co-author HP Newquest and illustrator Nathan Schreiber) manages to lay out in clear language and pictures how four very different people that are insured differently would deal with the aftermath of a heart attack. He narrates the possible scenarios in a Scott McCloud-like manner presenting the outcomes of an employee who is fully insured to the senior citizen on Medicare to the uninsured working poor. Gruber then lays out the double headed monster of rising costs and growing numbers of uninsured. His manner of presenting the opposition of the ACA in the form of four movie monsters both guarantee a laugh and key points to remember. He even manages to suss out the details of what an insurance exchange is and what it does in only a few effective panels.
Of course I was delighted to see that Massachusetts health reform was used often as the example on how this could be done, and it gives a great primer for those wanting to know more about our past successes as we move towards payment reform next legislative session.
All in all I would recommend people pick up this graphic novel for those looking for a clear and understandable explanation of health care reform. It would also make a great holiday gift for that one person in your life that wants to argue about the ACA but doesn’t understand what it entails.