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.