Rationing Health Care

Cartoon by Barry

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This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows a different scene.


A woman with spikey hair is standing in her living room. She’s holding a hand to her cheek, and lots of cartoon “pain stars” are floating near her cheek.  She’s wide-eyed and unhappy looking as she speaks into her cell phone. A dog sits on the floor nearby, looking at the woman adoringly.

WOMAN: What’s the point of an insurance plan that doesn’t cover dental?

VOICE FROM PHONE: We only cover essential treatments. Teeth aren’t that important.


Two people, a man and a woman, are on a city sidewalk. They are both looking with bewilderment at an enormous, unnaturally perfect hole in the man’s chest (it also goes through his tee shirt).

There’s litter on the sidewalk, including a newspaper called “The Cartoon Times” with a big headline saying “Man Reads Background Gag.” (I’d normally use an androgynous word like “person,” but the space was so tiny I had to opt for the three-letter word. :-p )

WOMAN: You should see a doctor about that.

MAN: Too expensive. Maybe it’ll get better by itself?


A woman wearing a black tank top and jeans sits on a sidewalk. She’s got very short, spikey hair and tattoos (including tattoos of Snoopy and Lucy). One of her legs has fallen off mid-calf; she’s got a bone sticking out, and her foot and the lower half of her calf (still in jeans) are lying on the street in front of her.

She grinning, trying to be cheerful, but she’s wide-eyed and sweating. She’s holding out one palm in a “no need” gesture.

Two emergency medical technicians in uniform are staring at her, surprised. In the background we can see their ambulance. Near the top of the ambulance, the company’s motto is printed: “We move broken peeps.”

WOMAN: I can’t afford an ambulance. I’ll just walk.


Two women walk through a hilly park. There are trees in the background, a bush in the foreground, and a tree stump (Woodstock from Peanuts is standing on the stump). A single abandoned boot lies on the ground.

The first woman, blond with neck-length hair and waring shorts and a button-up short sleeved shirt, is in a panic. The second woman, wearing a hoodie and flip-flops, is rolling her eyes.

FIRST WOMAN: Universal government-paid health care? That’d be HORRIBLE! We’d have to start RATIONING HEALTH CARE!

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Rationing Health Care | Barry Deutsch on Patreon

Posted in Health care |

It’s Always The Sick Person’s Fault

Cartoon by Barry

Today’s cartoon is another collaboration with Becky Hawkins.

Help me keep making cartoons by supporting my patreon!


This cartoon has nine panels, all the same size, arranged in a three by three grid. The panels show figures on a blank colored background, mostly alternating between light blue and cream. Every panel features “Bob,” a white man in a blue polo shirt and tan pants. Bob has a mustache and beard, and wears glasses.


Bob addresses the reader directly, calmly, spreading his palms to make a point.

BOB: Whenever someone whines that they can’t afford medical care, they don’t deserve help. Because when I look, it’s always their own fault!


Bob continues speaking, but turns to the side to greet Dr. Jones, a woman wearing a white lab coat over blue scrubs, carrying a clipboard, and wearing a stethoscope around her neck, because Becky and I really, really wanted it to be really, really obvious that this character is a doctor. Cartooning!

BOB: Maybe they’re fat. Or they smoke. Maybe they didn’t save enough. Or maybe they—

BOB: Oh, hello, Dr. Jones.


In a closer shot, the doctor speaks seriously to Bob while pointing at something on her clipboard. Bob’s eyes have gone wide.

DR JONES: Bad news, Bob — you’ve got a serious condition that will require months of expensive treatment.


As the doctor walks out of the right edge of the panel, Bob nervously watching her, a gray-haired man in a suit and tie enters from the left.

DOCTOR: You should have gotten tested sooner. Or had better genes. Bye!

SUIT: Hi, Bob! I’m from your insurance company.


A close shot shows the man in the suit leaning close to Bob and pointing at something on a piece of paper. Bob still looks in shock.

SUIT: Good news! We found a loophole in your policy! Wo we only have to pay $20,000 of your expected $700,000 medical bill!


Bob leans towards the departing guy in the suit, yelling big with both his arms upraised. A sound effect pointing towards a rectangular lump in Bob’s pocket – “brring! brring!” – indicates Bob’s cell phone is ringing.


SUIT: Next time, read the 12th page of small print more carefully.


Here we see Bob, looking very lost and frightened in a close-up, holding his cell phone up to an ear as he listens. His boss’ voice comes from the cell phone. Reflecting Bob’s mood, this panel is colored completely in shades of red.

BOSS: Bob, it’s your boss. You’ve used all your sick leave and you still can’t work. We’re letting you go.

BOSS: It’s your own fault for not working while sick.


There’s no dialog in this panel. Bob, biting his nails and seeming very nervous, looks towards the readers out of the corner of his eye, as if just remembering that the readers are there.


Bob, having calmed down, returns to addressing the reader directly, with a somewhat smug expression.

BOB: Well, of course I’m virtuous and deserve help. But other sick people have only themselves to blame!

Posted in Becky Hawkins collaborations, Health care |

Doctors and Fat Patients

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these cartoons, you can help me make more by supporting my Patreon. A $1 pledge really helps!

This cartoon has four panels.

The panel shows a doctor, with thick-framed glasses, neat shoulder-length white hair, and holding a clipboard, in an examining room talking to a patient. The patient is wearing striped pants and a square-collar short sleeved blouse, and has her dark hair in a bun. The patient is sitting on one of those patient examination tables they have in doctors’ offices.

The patient is using her right hand to hold out her left arm, which is not connected to her body, to show it to the doctor.

Important: The doctor is thin, the patient is fat.

The doctor is calm; the patient is also calm, but also concerned.

DOCTOR: Hi, I’m doctor Douglas. What seems to be the problem?
PATIENT: I woke up this morning and my arm had fallen off.

The doctor, still speaking calmly, is looking down at the patient’s body. The patient, still holding her detached left arm in her right hand, looks a bit annoyed.

DOCTOR: Hmmmm…. First thing, let’s get you on a diet.
PATIENT: A diet? To reconnect my arm?

A shot from behind the doctor, looking over the doctor’s shoulder at the patient. The patient is now quite angry, raising her voice.

DOCTOR: Your weight is the real issue here… How many times a day do you eat fast food?

The doctor, now alone, sits at a desk in an office (desk lamp, degree on wall, books on a shelf). The doctor is typing on a laptop, and looks peeved. Above her, we see words in the air showing what she’s typing.

DOCTOR (writing on laptop): “Patient was uncooperative…”

Posted in Barry's favorites, Fat Acceptance, Health care, Social Justice |

Medicare For All Is Idealistic But Not Realistic

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these cartoons, please support them on my Patreon. A $1 pledge really matters.


This cartoon has nine panels.

Panel 1
A woman in a business casual outfit – she’s a politician – is speaking directly to the viewer, looking cheerful. We’ll call her “Dem.”

DEM: “Medicare for all” is idealistic, but unrealistic. We Democrats need to compromise, because that’s how policy gets done.

Panel 2
The same woman, now looking serious, gestures towards a small table. On the table is a HUGE stack of paper.

DEM: Take the “Affordable Care Act.” It’s not everything Democrats wanted for health care.

Panel 3
The shot shows the woman, now partly hidden behind the huge stack of papers, continuing to speak.
DEM: We worked hard to get many players to the table. The ACA incorporates Republican ideas, insurance company ideas, doctors’ ideas…

Panel 4
The woman continues speaking cheerily.
DEM: And because the ACA has so many compromises, it’s something everyone can live with.

Panel 5
A balding man in a suit and tie, smiling and carrying a bomb with a lit fuse, walks into the panel. The woman gestures towards him without really looking at him, still looking cheery.
DEM: Because we compromised, in time our Republican colleagues will work with us to make the ACA better.

Panel 6
The man, still smiling, tosses the bomb at the huge stack of paper. The woman looks startled.

Panel 7
The panel shows a huge “BOOOM” sound effect.

Panel 8
The woman stands, eyes hugely wide, staring out at the viewer, while tiny bits of paper rain down around her. The balding man walks off the panel.

Panel 9
The woman talks directly to the viewer again. She looks messy, and there’s a hunk of paper in her hair, and her eyes are still huge, but she’s trying to smile again.
DEM: Um… As I was saying, “Medicare For All” is idealistic but not realistic.

Tiny Kicker Panel At Bottom Of Cartoon
Dem talks to a protester who is carrying a “Medicare For All” sign.
DEM: Why can’t you be realistic?
PROTESTOR: Look who’s talking!

Posted in Health care |

How Trumpcare Is Helping Ordinary Americans

Cartoon by Barry


If you live in Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, or Arkansas, it’s ESSENTIAL that you call your senator! It’s easy and doesn’t take long; you can find calling scripts here.

Special shout-out to my talented collaborator on this cartoon, Mr. Adrian Wallace!

If you like these cartoons, please support my patreon.


This is a single panel cartoon.

The cartoon shows three giants, in fancy dinner dress, at a dining table. The room screams “wealth”; the chairs are fancy, the windows are huge, the wall is pillared, etc. The table is also fancy, with expensive-looking chairs and a fancy lace tablecloth.

Lying on the table is a woman with a grimace of pain and fear, who is labeled “Medicaid.” The three giants are ripping away huge chunks of her body and eating the chunks.

In front of these scene stands an ordinary-sized human, a white man wearing a suit and tie. He is smiling and talking directly to readers.

MAN: Our plan is all about helping ordinary Americans.

Posted in Health care |

It’s No Longer About Obamacare

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these cartoons, please support them on Patreon.

Transcript of cartoon.

This cartoon has a single panel, which shows Mitch McConnell, holding an axe, standing next to a huge tree that he’s clearly been chopping down; the tree is labeled “Medicaid.” Next to the tree is a tiny baby tree that he’s not chopping down, labeled “Obamacare.” In the branches of the Medicaid tree, there are countless tiny people looking terrified.

MCCONNELL: What’s the fuss? We’re only repealing Obamacare.

Posted in Health care |

The Republican Health Care Plan

Cartoon by Barry

If you enjoy these cartoons, please support them at Patreon.

Transcript of cartoon:

Panel 1
A man in a suit is standing on a stage, in front of a crowd, grandly introducing a furry, fanged, unicorn-horned, pointy-eared, polka-dot dinosaur-tailed monster. The monster waves at the crowd.

SUIT GUY: Introducing… the Republican Health Care Plan
CROWD: Boo! Boo! Boo!

Panel 2
CAPTION: Weeks later
The same man is grandly introducing the exact same monster, except that the monster is now wearing a fake nose and glasses. The crowd glares.
SUIT GUY: We listened to you and we made big changes! Introducing the NEW Republican health care plan!

Kicker panel
A few members of the crowd are talking to Suit Guy.
PERSON IN CROWD: Just how stupid do you think we are?
SUIT GUY: You elected Trump.

Posted in Health care |

Maternity Leave vs Profit

Cartoon by Barry


This cartoon was done in collaboration with my friend Becky Hawkins. I did the writing and lettering with Becky’s help, Becky did the drawing with me helping on layouts, and I did the gray tones.


Panel 1
A woman in a collared shirt and black pants is talking to a businessman in a fancy suit.
WOMAN: Businesses oppose paid maternity leave because you put money above women’s health!
BUSINESSMAN: We care deeply about women! We’re against paid leave because it’s bad for women!

Panel 2
The businessman has pulled a mother, holding a crying newborn, into the panel.
WOMAN: Women need time off to recover after giving birth.
BUSINESSMAN: Nonsense! Just look at Tiana here… She can’t wait to get back to work. It’s patronizing of you to say otherwise!
TIANA: So tired….

Panel 3
BUSINESSMAN: Paid maternity leave makes hiring women more expensive – and that means companies will discriminate against hiring them! Have a heart!

Panel 4
The businessman violently shoves Tiana off-panel.
WOMAN: So we’ll give paid leave to new mothers AND new fathers!
BUSINESSMAN: But that would cost MONEY!

Posted in Becky Hawkins collaborations, Economic cartoons, Health care, Labor rights & Unions, Sexism & Misogyny |

See Sue Run

Cartoon by Barry

See Sue
(Illustration of small white girl in pigtails running. This is Sue.)
See Sue run.

See Sue run to public school.
(Illustration of Sue running towards brick building.)
Go, Sue, go!

See Sue’s Daddy tkae a child-care tax credit.
(Illustation of Sue’s Daddy in foreground filling out some forms while Sue plays with toys on the floor in the background.)
Maybe Daddy will use it to buy Sue more toys!

See Sue use federal student loans to attend college.
(Illustration of Sue, now a teenager in a cap and gown, receiving a high school diploma.)
Good going, Sue!

See Sue lower her taxes with the lifetime learning credit.
(Illustration of Sue putting an envelope into a mailbox. This cartoon is certainly action-packed, isn’t it?)
Clever Sue!

See Sue get a job.
(Illustration of sue wearing goggles and sawing a piece of wood that’s clamped to two sawhorses.)
See the employer tax exclusion make Sue’s health care cheaper.

See Sue buy a home.
(Illustration of a small house.)
Sue can afford it because of the mortgage deduction!

See Sue have a baby.
(Illustration of a baby’s pacifier.)
See Sue take the child-tax credit.

See Sue save for her kid’s college education with a tax-free education savings account.
(Illustration of Sue, now a bit older, filling out forms.)
Good planning Sue!

See Sue retire.
(Illustration of Sue, now older with white hair, at a retirement party — there are balloons and cake and a man has his arm around her shoulders.)
Now Sue will collect Social Security!

See Sue get sick.
(Illustration of Sue in a patient’s gown at a doctor’s office, being spoken to by someone holding a clipboard.)
Good thing Sue has Medicare!

See Sue Forget About All Of That
(Illustration of Sue, wearing a blazer, angrily speaking.)
Sue: When has the government ever helped me?
Funny Sue!

Posted in Economic cartoons, Health care |

Health Care and Freedom

Cartoon by Barry

The scene: A woman in casual business wear addresses the reader directly.

Panel one
Woman: i’m TRAPPED in my job, because my kid is sick, and if i change jobs there goes my health insurance!

Panel two
Woman: i have a great idea for a business start-up — the kind of thing that could change my life! but i’m TRAPPED in my job because of the health insurance.

Panel three
Woman: the job recently forced me to relocate to IDAHO. i HATE living in idaho! i miss my family. but i’m trapped in my job because… well, you know.

Panel four
Woman: my boss assigns me unpaid overtime and makes inappropriate comments… but i can’t tell him to SHOVE it, because i’m TRAPPED.

Panel five
Woman: so my friend tells me that to solve all these problems, i should support single-payer health care. and i said
to her, ARE YOU NUTS?

Panel six
Woman: once the government gets involved in health care, we won’t be FREE!

Posted in Health care, Labor rights & Unions |

The Great Health Care Debate

Cartoon by Barry

Visual description: This is a four-panel cartoon. Each panel shows the same three woman. The woman on the left and right are arguing; the woman in the middle is listening with interest to their arguments.
Panel 1
WOMAN 1: our NEW HEALTH CARE BALLOON is a GIGANTIC deal! it’s more like a RIDE in a HOT AIR BALLOON! and EVERY AMERICAN can ride to a HEALTHIER TOMORROW! it’s the balloon we’ve waited our WHOLE LIFE for!
Panel 2
Panel 3: The two arguing women are now just yelling into each other’s faces.
Panel 4: A perfectly ordinary, normal-sized balloon has floated into the picture.
WOMAN 1 (Arms wide open, gesturing towards the balloon): It’s HERE! Isn’t it AWESOME?
WOMAN 2 (Fleeing in terror): AYIEE! THE NEW STALIN!
Woman in middle: Looks towards the viewer with a “you’ve got to be kidding me” expression on her face.
CAPTION: The Great Health Care Debate

Posted in Health care |

Socialized Medicine

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Health care |

Star Wars Muppet Health Care Mashup + Original Art Auction!

Cartoon by Barry

This cartoon was published in the April 2009 issue of Dollars and Sense. The original art is being auctioned here.

To tell you the truth, I can’t draw Darth’s helmet to save my life. So I turned to the awesome Bill Mudron, who could easily draw Darth’s helmet with a crayon clenched between his butt cheeks, although in this case I’m pretty sure Bill used his hands. I wrote and penciled the cartoon, and Bill inked it, drawing Darth and the backgrounds pretty much from scratch.

Since this is a health care cartoon, I thought it would make sense to auction it off to help someone pay for health care. Somewhere on the internet I ran into Connie Parrott‘s case; Connie is a type 1 diabetic who is trying to raise funds for needed medical equipment through the internet. Although I haven’t met Connie, I emailed her, and she was willing to let me do the auction thing. Connie’s friend Ed Brayton, volunteered to help organize it.

So, anyway: The original art is being auctioned here on Ebay. You can find details (paper stock, image size, etc) over there.

It’s worth mentioning that I don’t usually draw my cartoons on paper! This is the first cartoon I’ve done in years that wasn’t done 100% on computer. So this is a relatively rare chance to own original paper art for one of my strips.

UPDATE: The art sold for $200. Yay!

Posted in Health care, Labor rights & Unions |

Top Ten Reasons To Be Against Single Payer Health Care

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Health care |

Canadian Drugs And Free Trade

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Health care |

Free Market Man in “Health Care Adventure”

Cartoon by Barry


Originally published in Dollars and Sense. A tip of the pen to Ezra Klein’s blog, my favorite health care policy blog.

Posted in Barry's favorites, Economic cartoons, Health care |

It’s a Tidy System

Cartoon by Barry

Posted in Barry's favorites, Elections, Health care, Media criticism |