Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works

Jonathan Gruber, Author, Dean Motter, Illustrator, Nathan Schreiber, Illustrator
Jonathan Gruber, HP Newquist, and Nathan Schreiber. Hill and Wang, $13.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-8090-5397-1
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 12/20/2011
Hardcover - 151 pages - 978-0-8090-9462-2
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As its subtitle indicates, this book is about more than entertainment. It delivers information, like Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, through an earnest but informal lecture by a cartoon version of an expert—in this case Gruber, an MIT economics professor who helped craft Massachusetts’s successful health care reform plan as well as the Affordable Care Act, which has been the subject of so much confusion and deliberate misinformation. He begins the presentation by confronting a small group of people with the enormous medical bills they could receive after medical treatment, then moves from the individual to the national level to show that our present system is unfair and unsustainable. The explanation of how the ACA can fix the problems may not convince all readers, but they’ll come away with a clearer understanding of what the real issues are. Schrieber’s simple black and white art effectively uses symbols and some basic charts to help explain the morass. An effective use of comics as part of a public policy debate. (Jan.)
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