The Perfect Gift for the Health Care Buff in Your Family

Searching for the perfect gift for the health care reform junkie in your family? A new graphic novel by Jonathan Gruber (out on Dec. 20) may be just what you’ve been looking for. The book, Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works, has been gestating for awhile, and aims to explain the complicated legislation. Here’s an excerpt from the Amazon book description:

You won’t have to worry about going broke if you get sick.
 We will start to bring the costs of health care under control.
 And we will do all this while reducing the federal deficit.

In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that Gruber served as an Obama advisor during the 2008 campaign and may not be the most unbiased of observers.  

(HT: Marginal Revolution)


I guess, "Obamacare: Spending trillions, calling it 'saving', and bypassing representational democracy" was already taken.

Tom M

We already spend trillions Obamacare essentially proposes to do so in a different way. Essentially by cost saving in existing and future government funded healthcare the bill funds healthcare for all. And yes as others note it mandates the purchase of health insurance. Which is the only responsible thing for anyone to do. Buy insurance to avoid having others pay for your care which is what happens with those who opt out of insurance in today's incredibly dysfunctional system.


"We already spend trillions Obamacare essentially proposes to do so in a different way."

But that still leaves us with the fundamental problem: spending trillions. Suppose that we stopped arguing about who's going to pay those trillions, and spent a little time working on ways to reduce the actual cost? Including (a good subject for a few Freakonomics posts) the perverse incentives that induce almost everyone involved, from patients on up, to opt for the most expensive of a range of equally-effective treatments.

Joe J

Ah found in the humor section.


No, it's not funny. Look under fantasy instead.


This is way too much like Communist agitprop.

"And Comrade Stalin, leader of the vanguard proletariat, will ensure all said controls with iron fist. Join him and there will be no more pain, our expenses will be free, and unicorns will lick away your tears and piss money."

Tiny pamphlet footnote:
"Oh, by the way, little thing but I should mention, (it's kind of funny actually), the government now has the power to punish you for not buying products it has approved. That's it, return to the list of magical features of the health-care bill."


When should one worry about going broke if not when getting sick?
Should one worry about going broke after purchasing an expensive home?
Should one worry about going broke after a divorce?
Should one worry about going broke after losing a job?
Buying a sportscar? Motorhome? Paying the Vet for treating a dog with cancer?
If we shouldn't (shan't) worry about going broke after getting sick, When the hell should we (or anyone) worry about going broke? Surely there is a situation when one should worry about going broke..... Isn't there?


Why are you advertising for this?


The conservative version will be a coloring book.

"Welfare Susie spent too much taxpayer money on smart doctors! Color in the letter she gets from the insurance company telling her that she has to quit being lazy and get a job!"


Is there any particular reason why Susie shouldn't have to get a job?


High-deductible insurance policies with HSAs for all. Disentangle it from being employer-provided, make the health insurance companies sell health insurance the same way the car insurance companies do. Get the government subsidies out of it. Make the consumer, and his/her doctor, pay attention to cost and make decisions as to what is and is not viable.

And, if the Dems just have to give money away, go ahead and fund the HSA's up to $2000 to get things started.

Joe J

I love my companys HSA / high deductible plan, whish we had been doing it for longer.


we are so healthcare dumb that we need cartoons to help us. :) I like it....


In the end, controlling healthcare costs means controlling the amount of money that the various actors make.

The government and various healthcare advocates dance around that idea by cutting reimbursement rates, or touting "efficiency." The government isn't supposed to be in the business of regulating how much an individual makes, generally speaking.

Health Insurance companies have an incentive to reduce costs, but they have no real incentive to pass those savings onto the customers due to the way they calculate their risk pools - they make their pools as small as possible, which magnifies the effect of people who are high-utilization, allowing them to justify higher rates to the various insurance commissions.

As for doctors, nurses, hospitals and other care providers, well, who among them is going to advocate for a massive reduction in their salaries?