The Health Care Bill And The Comics Industry

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, and on iNetRadio, (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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24 Responses

  1. Jon Jordan says:

    I agree with your views and if we were in a bar I'd buy you a drink and switch the conversation to something else because you just said it all.

  2. Anonymous says:

    "But I know better than to waste my time in debate with mindless zealots."So. You've already dismissed opinions that don't match up with your own.Who's the mindless one here today?Which is a shame. I enjoyed ComicMix before it became blatantly obvious that I'd have to suffer periodic political rants from the editorial staff in order to read news about comics.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Wow. I don't think I've ever heard somebody so readily accept the definition of "mindless zealot."You misread the ending, oh-courageous-Anonymous. I asked for comments that "significant and factual." I gather you believe anything "significant and factual" goes against your worldview. Oh, and for the record, ComicMix, for better or worse, has always had periodic political rants; far less now than before. You, and everybody else, are invited to contribute as you will, although it would be nice if your contributions were significant and factual.

      • Anonymous says:

        My contribution is significant and factual, and since I apparently failed to make my point clear, I will repeat it in no uncertain terms: you, sir, are the mindless zealot in this conversation.

        • John Ostrander says:

          There were no facts, simply opinion, in your post. Mike simply said he wouldn't argue with "mindless zealots". You, oh courageous Anonymous, are the one who decided to take that as referring to you. There are others on this post who disagree with Mike (and me) and cite their reasons. Whether I AGREE or not, I respect those opinions. If you have any other point to make then you, as you noted, failed to make it clear. And whose fault is THAT?

  3. Raphael Sutton says:

    I just find it curious that so many complain about being forced to buy health insurance and how this is anti-american, but say nothing about the fact that it's been the law for years (decades?) that anyone who owns a car has to, at the very least, buy Liability Insurance.Are there any other types of insurance out there already that people are forced to carry (other than the various malpractice ones tied to specific professions)? I'd go online and check but am a bit swamped right now.

  4. Glenn Hauman says:

    There's an entire ronin class of freelancers on which the comics industry relies.One interesting side effect: we'll have fewer people signing exclusives with the big two in order to avail themselves of health insurance. Which will cause a shakeup a few years down the road.

  5. Delmo Walters Jr. says:

    When the hell does the collected Ben Casey by Neal Adams come out?

  6. Delmo Walters Jr. says:

    When the hell does the collected Ben Casey comic strip by Neal Adams, which is where the art in this article comes from, come out?

  7. John Ostrander says:

    Re: anonymousMike, he knows what he thinks. Don't confuse him with the facts.

  8. Andrew Zubko says:

    As a healthy person just barely into his thirties, I am quick to get upset by the fact that the government is going to tell me I am required to give up a significant amount of money that I can barely afford to help pay for services that I, at least up until now, barely ever use. At least with car insurance there is a choice. Pay for it, or don't drive. This choice is present for all insurance that I can presently think of. Either pay insurance, or don't partake in whatever the insurance is for. Driving is a luxury that I (reluctantly) choose to pay for. What is the choice for the health bill? Pay or don't live? Is that a choice? But like I said, it's easy for me to get upset about these things as a young, healthy person. But what about all the individuals who wish they could have relatively affordable health insurance – would gladly pay for it – if they could? As someone who used to work with senior citizens to help them obtain benefits through low income subsidies for medical services and prescription drugs, I know the value of a decent health plan in our later years. So, we can complain about not having a choice in paying for health insurance now, but then we're left with having tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical debt because of the inevitable health issues that pop up as we age. The fact is, if you don't have health insurance, and you don't die, you WILL eventually be in crazy amounts of debt. So why not start paying now through insurance? If all goes right, this will hopefully bring down the premiums to where they are at least affordable so we can all have something we should have had anyway. The choice not to have health insurance is partly why we need health reform. But with all that said, even though I can see the benefits to this bill I will still curse the government when I'm making those monthly payments. That is, until my body stops working in some way or another.

    • Raphael Sutton says:

      If you're unlucky you don't even have to wait until you age before being stuck with thousands in health debt.Someone I know had a nearly ruptured appendix in his mid-twenties and had to spend a couple of days in the hospital. Had no insurance (because he was young and in good health and didn't want to waste the money), so he ended up with a $17,000 debt. And he was lucky, he put off going to the hospital for a day or two when the pain started, again because of the no insurance thing, so when he finally did things were so bad that the doctor told him that a few more hours and he'd have died.Hell, breaking a bone will also cost you thousands, and that's for a simple fracture.I hope it will be decades before I have any need for my insurance, but I wouldn't go without it. Doing so would be irresponsible, both financially and socially. One of the best provisions of the new law is that companies won't be able to drop your coverage anymore should you get sick. The fact that they could do so, and often did, is the only argument I ever encountered that could possibly justify not getting insurance while one's healthy.And you know, while technically one does have the option not to drive, most of the people in the country live in places where a car is more than just a luxury, it's a necessity if you don't want to be home-bound. Distances are too great, the weather often too inclement, and public transportation all but nonexistent. Cities like New York are a (welcome) exception.

      • Andrew Zubko says:

        This is true, you can get hurt or sick at any age, which I suppose is the point of having health insurance to begin with. For the time being, I am fortunate enough to have coverage through my "day job," but I can tell you now, if it wasn't for that, I'm not so sure I'd be able to pay for health insurance, and I know other freelance artists in that exact situation. It may be irresponsible, but some don't really have much of an option. I suppose one could argue that they could just get a job with health benefits, but this is like telling someone in the middle of nowhere to stop driving 25 miles to work everyday. It might be possible, but just barely, so I can see your point about that. Hopefully this reform will make it a bit easier for lower income individuals to afford coverage that they would otherwise might not be able to. If this happens, I'm on board. And hopefully it straightens out some of the evil practices of the health insurance companies as well, such as dropping and denying coverage. As for the individual right not to have health insurance, I definitely can see the argument. But maybe that's what it will take to get the cost of coverage down for those individuals who are currently uninsured due to income limitations. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know how this is all going to play out, and I'm not going to pretend I do, but as I someday would like to make a full-time living as a freelance artist, I am watching it closely.

        • Raphael Sutton says:

          I do believe that one of the points of the reform is exactly that of making Health Insurance generally more affordable. Hopefully it will succeed.Best of luck with your art, Andrew!

  9. Nutty says:

    Any liberal history professor will tell you that this country was founded on individual rights. You wanna tackle healthcare? Fine, but leave my purchasing decisions to me. Government is here to protect rights, not remove them. The car insurance argument is moronic at best… any bedwetter, guilt ridden lib will tell you that most of the world is poor. Driving would be a privilege there as it is here. You want to drive? you buy insurance. With healthcare, we are being forced to buy it with no choice whatsoever. Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual). Ayn Rand

    • John Ostrander says:

      It's not just healthcare. I have no kids but, through property taxes, I am obliged to pay for the schooling of other peoples' children and I don't have a choice in that. Same for police, fire, and the military. I'm not keen on it but I see the social advantage to it.Oh, and in those poor countries where driving would be a privilege and not a right? in many of them, voting or freedom of speech would also be considered a privilege and not a right.And for future reference, although I'm a liberal, I'm neither guilt-ridden nor bedwetting. Not yet anyway. I'm not hurling epithets at you. i think the view on individual rights has some merit. Name calling doesn't. IMO.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Sadly, Ayn Rand was so full of shit she lived under a cloud of buzzards. It was her greedy, mindless, asinine philosophies that led to our current economic apocalypse, and her concepts are at the heart (if one can use the words "heart" and "Ayn Rand" in the same sentence) of a system that allows people at the top of insurance companies, hospital conglomerates, pharmaceutical industries, medical supply companies, and politicians to absorb tens of million of dollars directly off of the corpses of the people who cannot afford their piracy.Inhuman monsters.

      • Linda Gold says:

        Thanks, Michael, I was just about to go on my Ayn (hideous, loathsome creature) Rand rant but you put it better than I could.

      • Raphael Sutton says:

        Couldn't agree with you more about Ayn Rand, Mike. I only want to add this quote I stumbled upon recently. I found it with no attribution, so my apologies for not giving the original author their due credit."There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mike Gold asks for comments that are "significant and factual." Further, he "knows better than to waste" his "time in debate with mindless zealots." Based upon these criteria, his column should never have been written. The first shot fired turns out to be his mouth and the only target appears to be his own foot.Secondly, rhetoric such as "every paranoid, fear-filled right-winger" and "just damn stupid shit like America's got the best health care in the world" hardly evidences objectivity. Rather, it makes the writer look (well, honestly) paranoid, fear-filled, and in short, a mindless zealot."I disagree with his premise. Having done a fair amount of research as well as having numerous contacts in nations with long established national health care, I would submit that Mr Gold may be emotional, but lacks objectivity.Certainly health care needs to be reformed, but what has been done is not reform. Rather it's an attempt to remake America's status quo into a Europeanized status quo. Regardless of the president's insipid remarks in Iowa City about no grandmothers having been refused healthcare (the "good stuff" hasn't kicked in yet, remember), rationing is a fact of life of national health care. I seen too many first hand examples to ignore. Failing that, can Mr Gold be unaware of ongoing disclosures in Britain's health care system–not to mention a long string of similar disclosures in other nations?Mr Gold cites the "non-partisan CBO," which demonstrably may not be, "non-partisan" that is. Nevertheless, has he forgotten the CBO's own disclosure that "rosy projections by Senate Democrats that their health-care bill will cut the deficit by $132 billion while still being able to fully meet future Medicare obligations is mathematically impossible" and "in the small print of the more than 2,000-page bill, Democrats turn around and essentially spend that savings twice, according to the CBO letter." These few points can easily be researched, but that requires objectivity.Yes, we need reform, but Mr Gold in 4 very short years will find that he has gone from "kissing his boo boo" to placing a less than sterile band-aid upon the same. Regardless, I would advise some thoughtful linguistic lipo-suction for the mouth and that foot needs to be looked at. But, do it before 4 years is up.Finally, much of the rhetoric around the current health care law involves the statement "I hope it works." But then, has the object of our hope demonstrably and historically delivered?E. Leroy (sorry, I'm not yet a member)

  11. Anonymous says:

    While I wish every person could afford reasonable healthcare, I am loathe to rely on Government to provide it. Do we really believe that a new layer of bureaucracy and red tape will cut costs? Will it maintain the existing quality of care for the Americans who have worked hard their entire lives to provide healthcare for their families? Will we suddenly see an increase in 24 employee companies? The bill may mean well, but there were bribes given for votes, states excluded from payments, union palms greased and corrupt politicians involved. To me that makes this just another Washington power play. The latest in a long line coming from both the Left and the Right. Will the people who are expecting affordable healthcare still be happy when the IRS tells them they can "afford" to pay for it now? There is much in healthcare that needs improving, just not sure we turned to the right source to get the job done and what price we will ultimately pay in the end. Pan her if you must, but one useful philosophy I get from Rand is the concept that we are all individuals before all else. As such, it is our responsibility, not someone else's, to ipmrove our lives. Working hard to overcome medical issues in my own life and improve life for my children has served me well. I just wish more people would try that first. Some will fail, and those are the ones who truly need help. I have very little sympathy for individuals who refuse to take any steps to improve their own lives. Now, thanks to Uncle Sam, I will be forced to watch more of my paycheck go toward providing healthcare for the chronically unemployed, 3-pack-a-day smokers who sit down at the corner bar all day, so they can continue to keep their 3 SUV's and their Digital Cable while they gripe about how unfair "Big Business" is and how they screw us as they compare strategies for making sure their ex-wives don't find out how much money they really make. But, hey, some of that money may actually trickle out of the system to people who truly need it, so that makes it all OK, right?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I'll respond with a quote from one of the most eloquent authors in history. "Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. "Robert A. Heinlein Before you label individuals as "paranoid" and such, or assume that they don't know the difference between Democracy, Socialism, Fascism and Communism, try to please remember that sometimes, yeah, it is that simple.

  13. Linda Gold says:

    I sincerely hope none of the rugged individualists who posted here never come down with a catastrophic illness. Heath care bills are the major cause of foreclosure and bankruptcy in America. Tell me how you will handle things for yourself if you are faced with 10's of thousands of dollars in bills that your insurance won't pay. If you have that kind of a financial cushion your are indeed fortunate but most of us are not in that position. As things stand for us now we are paying over $1000 a month for coverage that we are barely use because we can't afford to meet the deductible. We will lose this coverage in 6 weeks and don't know how we will afford new coverage if we can even find any that will cover a 60 year old woman and a 59 year old diabetic. Our daughter barely makes enough to pay her bills let alone afford coverage at the present rates so when she gets ill she just toughs it out. If any of us gets a serious illness we will be homeless. I have told my family to just let me die so they won't lose everything trying to cure me. No one in America should be faced with these choices. And in regards to people who want to be controlled vs not, that is simplistic sophistry. There is a vast difference between wanting to provide for the common good and wanting to control or be controlled.