The MIT economist credited with crafting President Barack Obama’s national health care overhaul law has reportedly started work on his latest venture: a comic book that explains the law in the simplest of terms.
Jonathan Gruber, a health economist who devised Obamacare’s economic structure, says his children inspired him to use the comic format to explain the law to Americans in plain language. “I’m going to use the facts to tell the story,” Gruber, 45, said Monday. “I’m the narrator guiding the reader through the law. It’ll have lots of pictures and text.”
According to the Boston Herald, the publishing powerhouse Farrar, Straus and Giroux plans to release Gruber’s book — “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works” — in the fall.
In Gruber’s opinion, the majority of Americans do not like the law because they don’t understand it. “I just wasn’t sure if this would be useful enough,” Gruber said. “Then my wife and kids said, ‘You’re crazy. You’ve got to do this.’ So I decided to give it a shot.”
Gruber also played a key role in developing Romneycare, the state health care plan implemented during former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s tenure.
“There’s a fundamental lack of economic security in our country,” Gruber explained. “If you don’t get insurance from your employer, you are one bad gene, or one bad car accident away from losing everything.”
Gruber’s editor, Thomas LeBien, has reportedly also used the comic-book medium to educate people about the U.S. Constitution and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Herald adds.
“It’s a marvelous medium,” LeBien said. “There’s a long tradition of turning to them to take complicated information and render it accessible to the widest audience.”
“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. “I’ve found that when people understand it, they like it.”