JOURNAL ARTICLE

"A campaign won as a public issue will stay won": using cartoons and comics to fight national health care reform, 1940s and beyond

Heidi Katherine Knoblauch
American Journal of Public Health 2014, 104 (2): 227-36
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On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. As it went through Congress, the legislation faced forceful resistance. Individuals and organizations opposing the ACA circulated propaganda that varied from photographs of fresh graves or coffins with the caption "Result of ObamaCare" to portrayals of President Obama as the Joker from the Batman movies, captioned with the single word "socialism." The arguments embedded in these images have striking parallels to cartoons circulated by physicians to their patients in earlier fights against national health care. Examining cartoons used in the formative health care reform debates of the 1940s provides a means for tracing the lineage of emotional arguments employed against health care reform.

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