The ACP Advocate Blog
by Bob Doherty
Friday, October 1, 2010
Yabba Dabba Doo! (And health care too)!
Like most kids who grew up in the 1960s, I spent many a night watching the adventures of Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty, the coolest cavemen ever (sorry, GEICO). It is hard to explain the appeal of the Flintstones, which yesterday celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first broadcast. Its animation was primitive, the stories campy and cliché, and it was horribly sexist - but the characters were lovable, the dialogue funny, and who could not love the way it depicted "modern conveniences" (like washing machines) using only stone-age technologies (bones, stones and dino-power)?
What does Fred Flintstone have to do with health care? Not much, really, although Fred was the victim of a medical error. According to answers.com, "A 1966 episode had Fred can't stop sneezing, so he goes to the doctor for some allergy pills. The prescription gets mixed up with another package of pills which, when taken, transform Fred into an ape! Only Barney witnesses this metamorphosis, and naturally he can't convince anyone what is happening ... until a fateful family outing at the Bedrock Zoo." (Of course, this all might have been prevented if they had e-prescribing in those days.)
But the Flintstones weren't the only cartoon to make the news yesterday; a new one came out to explain health care reform. No, it wasn't a case where Fred decided to pull an Andy Griffith and endorse health care reform (despite his unfortunate encounter with the health care system) since Fred is way too media-savvy to risk his popularity! Instead, it is "YouToons" characters explaining the Affordable Care Act in a 10 minute animated film, Health Reform Hits Main Street, released by the Kaiser Family Foundation. It is the best, most entertaining, and balanced explanation of the law I have seen, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is confused about the Affordable Care Act (and who isn't?).
Today's questions: Did you watch the Flinstones, and if you did, what was your favorite episode? What do you think of the new animated film on the Affordable Care Act?
About the Author
Bob Doherty is Senior Vice President, American College of Physicians Government Affairs and Public Policy; Author of the ACP Advocate Blog
Email Bob Doherty: TheACPAdvocateblog@acponline.org.Follow @BobDohertyACP
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