Top 5 Cartoons About Health Care Reform

Cartoon. The very word brings to mind images of buffoonery, larger than life characters and absurd situations. The last thing we usually associate with cartoons is serious social and political concepts, but throughout history, humorous and satirical drawings have pushed the boundaries of civil discourse.

Created by artists passionate about forcing us to look ourselves in the mirror, editorial cartoons used to be an essential part of any thriving newspaper. The things we’re able to laugh at say a lot about who we are as a nation, society and species.

Of course, the internet has changed all that, giving just about anyone the ability to share their thoughts or art with an international audience. Still, examining political cartoons throughout the ages can provide interesting insights into how far we’ve come and the work that remains. A new book aims to chronicle the metamorphosis of the American health care reform debate by compiling scores of cartoons that dealt with the topic.

“Political cartoons cut to the essence of our battle over who should foot the bill for medical coverage and how that care should be structured,” explains Theodore Brown, one the four authors of The Quest for Health Care Reform: A Satirical History due out in January 2013. “But unlike the pain involved in our political struggle, cartoons deliver their uncomfortable truths with such irreverent wit and visual imagination that you can’t help but chuckle.”

While many of the overarching themes have remained the same, the complexity of the nation’s health delivery system and the number and financial power of special interests has mushroomed in recent decades, says Brown. From pharmaceutical and insurance lobbies to hospitals, physicians and patient rights groups, the debate has grown more complex and confusing for the public.

We rounded up five of our favorites from Brown’s book. See anything familiar? (Click to enlarge)

Related Reading:

Restaurant Chains Avoid Obamacare By Hiring Part-Time Workers

The Politics And Morality Of Health Care Reform

Penis Cartoons Ruffle South African President


Photo from donkeyhotey via flickr


Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago


Susan Allen
SusanAWAY Allen5 years ago

A N M. great point!

A N M.
anne M5 years ago

All I ever hear from republicans is that Obamacare will cause people to have to wait longer for doctor appointments. Excuse me? People should die just so a few jerks won't get inconvenienced with longer waits to see a doctor who's incapable of doing better scheduling? Talk about ME ME ME, or what's up with this?

Jenny S.
Jenny Sejansky5 years ago

eLSA- I NEVER said anything about freebies to the poor. My comment was about the middle class paying for everyone else and getting nothing out of it. Which is what Obamacare is supposed to do for us. Where do you get against freebies for the poor from that? Either re-read my post and get it right or shut up about it already.

Kathy K.
Kathy K5 years ago

Sad but true.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Nothing changed in years...

Susan Allen
SusanAWAY Allen5 years ago

These cartoons are so good and so funny, particularly the last 3.

John B.
John B5 years ago

Thanks Beth for the article. I support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by congress but would have preferred a single payer plan, which I think in all honesty would have been better for all of us.

Lori Ann Hone
Lori Hone5 years ago

Recall all Republicans!

Elsa G.
Else G5 years ago

You are the one that stated that you didn't want your tax dollars to go for freebies for the poor. Sure sound to me like you are agains it.