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Outliers: Reform confusion? Kapow!


By Modern Healthcare
Posted: February 14, 2011 - 12:01 am ET
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While Captain America is targeting suicide, another healthcare topic is headed for the comics: reform. It probably won't attract as many devoted fans as Superman or the Incredible Hulk, but Jonathan Gruber, an MIT health economist who helped craft the Massachusetts model for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is betting that a comic book could be the best way to explain the controversial healthcare overhaul to the American public.

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Gruber says he got the idea from his children, who are comic book and graphic novel enthusiasts. Judging from the tentative title—Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It WorksOutliers isn’t expecting any of the usual dastardly deeds or caped crusaders. (Bam! Pow!)

Instead, Gruber says he’ll focus on simplifying the healthcare reform law’s programs with pictures and text. “My family made me realize that there’s such a misunderstanding of the bill, and that it’s important to explain why we need this, and what it does,” Gruber said in the Boston Herald. “I’ve found that when people understand it, they like it.”

While the news has drawn some mixed reactions, many on both the right and the left have praised the idea. According to the Herald article, ACA opponent Michael Cannon of the libertarian Cato Institute called the comic book concept “brilliant.”

The book is slated to be released this fall.


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