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  1. What’s on the tombstone the other girl’s making? I can’t quite make it out.

    Love this series, Zack.

  2. Thanks Joseph. The other ‘stone has greeking: i.e., an abstract representation of type but with no actual words… just kind of gets the idea of words across but without distracting from the main point. I didn’t really want to get too involved here with the other doll corpse.

    • Alice
    • Posted April 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm
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    Great comic, Zack! Just out of curiosity, does the little black girl have anything to say? She seems awfully silent! For that matter, does she even have a name?

  3. Thanks Alice. She is Promethea, and just moved in to the neighborhood; still kinda shy. Am formulating a whole story line around her to more fully integrate her character– am still “getting to know her” myself.

  4. Is Obamacare bacterial or viral? Do you contract it while you’re waiting on line? Are people waiting in line for funsies, or because they need medical attention? If they are waiting in line for medical attention under OBAMACARE, what would they do in Conservatopia?

    Sorry, I have a lot of questions, you’ve had comments off for so long!

    • Steve T
    • Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:01 pm
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    Hi Chris-!

    Long time, no debate with you!

    I have heard that D.L. has a very good moderator,… so, what are your “lot of questions”?

    Let us hope they stick with the issues of Zack’s cartoon.

    I have spent a hideous amount of hours in Veterans waiting rooms, in TMC’s [troop medical clinic’s – while on active duty]
    These are government inefficient boondoggles.

    What you phrase as ” Conservatopia”, is simple free market dynamics.

    Health Saving Accounts – are a strong and proven structure for giving EVERYONE the best of free-market medical care.

    Are you interested in how they work-?

    • Manuel Calavera
    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 8:29 am
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    That doesn’t answer the question about lines though Steve. There are lines now, and the healthcare industry is prety free to do as they please. So, there’s what happens with the Free Market, lines.

    • Steve T
    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:12 am
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    Manual – the Democrat agenda, going back decades, has been to demonize the private health industry. Your comment reflects, in part, their successful efforts.

    The private health industry has been compromised by government interference in the form of Medicaid, Medicare… to some degree the HMO legislation (a Ted Kennedy authored project-!) and well, the VA is its own ‘train wreck’.
    Not to mention the lawyers… that is another long story.

    Do you notice long lines and countless parts of our private sector-? Generally speaking (exceptions do happen), no. Quick oil change, taking your dog/cat to the veterinarian,… those services have yet to be molested by intrusive government, and their costs stay in check by plenty of free market competition.

    Something far more critical to anyone’s well-being, is eating. Many folks can go ten’s of years without seeing a doctor, but try going a week without any food.

    How about we apply the sleazy, specious arguments Obama, Pelosi, and all their cohorts have made about government-run healthcare, and apply in to the entire food & agriculture industries-?

    No, what currently happens is very similar to the principle of HSA’s. Folks needing assistance get a pre-loaded food card (replacement for actual food stamps), and they shop the free grocery market.

    How long are the lines at the grocery store-? How many grocery shortages do you see-?

    Most every time I have read or heard someone criticize the free market, they are in fact going after some aspect caused by government meddling, not the real free market.

    Here is an “eye opener”. Where ever you live, go find out what some different veterinarians would charge for a complication-free appendectomy on a large breed dog (100 to 150 lbs). Next, find the costs for the same procedure on a small person (same weight as the dog – so to keep with similar conditions). The difference (last I checked),… about 12 to 15x the cost for Scooby Doo, to get his appendix out.

    • Jay
    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:59 am
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    Thanks Steve,facts are the best answer and the best weapon as well.

    • ikabod
    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 11:53 am
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    Despite the ideals of universal health care it comes down to this. Access. I thought it was for the availability of health care for everyone. That would, as far as I’m concerned come with the assumption that since the gov’ment is in control provide said care at a reasonable price. After looking at my tax bracket and one income earning family… My per mo charge for health insurance is $100 MORE than if I went with private. With all the evilness of private the left has not motivated me to move toward gov’ment run healthcare. Wanna win me over, lower the damn price. I know there’s going to be folks out on the left telling me it was NEVER about price. Yet at the same time if your going to make it a law to have health insurance and penalties will be levied if you don’t, there must be an alternative to follow the law that does not cost an arm and a leg.

    • Kalashnikat
    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm
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    “Cost an arm or a leg?” That’s what Obamacare could literally do, while you’re waiting for an MRI or a cancer treatment…or even cost your life waiting for rationed treatment in the “final solution” the Dems are leading us toward. Look at Britain to see where we’re going…if you pay for your own care out of your own pocket to save your life, they drop you from the government health program.

    I’d rather have the option to pay my own money into an HSA, use it as I see fit and only when needed, with a high deductible insurance policy against the catastrophic major illnesses that are rare and unpredictable.
    Keep the Change, lefties.

    • geeknerd
    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm
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    I just wish I could get Group medical insurance outside of my employer. Doctors, dentists, lawyers and other professionals in private practice get Group medical insurance through their respective professional organizations. Other groups, professional, fraternal, political, religious, etc. should be able to do the same. As the late John Balushi used to say, “But NOOOOOOO!”

  5. There you go being all money-minded and Republican, Ikabod. “You should be PROUD to spend more of your hard-earned money so that all American human beings will have care, and blah-blah-blah…”


    • Donna C.
    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm
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    FINALLY!! Been missing you…you! As always, your brilliance shines! =o)

  6. Is Obamacare bacterial or viral?

    It’s an environmental factor, of course. Like drowning or critical radiation exposure.

    Welcome back Zack’s comments!

  7. Here’s a list of socialized medicine FAILs from Moonbattery alone, that I had to stop updating ‘cos there were just TOO MANY.

  8. Perhaps you could consider a parallel system of government-run and private, like you have in some other nations.

    Like here you have free or near-free government-run medical centres. You just have to put up with a long wait, somewhat surlier nurses, less gentle surgery, and waiting till your wife’s dilation reaches a few inches before they’ll let her in for birth prep (without you, until the whole thing is done).

    Or pay a between fifty bucks to a few thousand for immediate treatment, more if you want a first class ward.

    Works for me!

    • Bongs
    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm
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    I come from a country with nationalized healthcare. You know how long the lines are for a checkup? About 4 people, total, for any given GP on any given day. The only things there are massive waiting lists for are organ transplants, but I guess the free market would solve that by just hiring hitmen.

    I also live in a country with universal health insurance. We’ve reached 99% coverage at the whopping cost to the government of US$900 per person, covering services from any hospital for any service from surgery to TCM. Co-payments on doctor’s visits are US$5 or so. You know what we did? Single-payer, based on Medicare. And yet despite the actual, physical evidence that it works, works well, and works cost efficiently, the Conservatives as they have for a year and a half now just shat the bed and cried until the healthcare reform proposed in the US was a neutered pile of crap. Doesn’t help that the Democrats have all the spine of jellyfish either.

    • Steve T
    • Posted April 22, 2010 at 12:00 am
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    And how many folks from this country, who need prompt heart by-pass surgery, die while on a long waiting list?
    Canada, the UK, … all these places that have these ‘wonderful’ health systems have 12%-17% higher death rates among such time-critical health needs.
    Oops-!… the non-existent congressional hearings that San-Fran-Nancy refused to have, did not mention this-!

    No thank you-!!

    Also, how many of these Western Democracy’s (with their wonderful central health care systems) have the ability to afford a strong & self-sufficient military? ( listening to the crickets! )

    Back in 1982, the UK was able to send a naval task force to re-take the Falkland Islands from the Argentinean invasion.

    Guess what is the reality now, if that mission is needed-?

    After these many years of massive social-spending programs in the UK, they have progressively diminished their military to the point where they cannot repeat the same military projection of forces to retake the Falklands today, if they faced the same invasion they did in 1982.

    Canada – their ability to defend their borders, from an aggressive Russia or China, in non-existent-! The security of Canada’s territory in the face of any such threat is 100% due to the US military.

    Here’s to big, nanny-state spending on things that ought to be personal choice and personal responsibilities!

    The central point here is not if government controlled health care (centralized, single payer, gov. health insurance, whatever you want to call it, etc…) is a common or “popular” direction to take – my point is, are the merits consistent with our Constitutional freedoms [NO], will it promote the best & highest quality overall health care [NO], will it keep costs in check with the greater market [heck no!]. Rationing, by whatever name you call it, will result. (Ref: the UK, Canadian systems)

    Instead of the US running towards the edge of the cliff like so many lemmings before us (with all due respect to the other Western Democracies), we need to examine what is best for us, our freedoms and future.

    An overall sad tragedy is that such a large percentage of our population cannot imagine that top quality health care, within a free, competition based market, is viable and affordable for everyone, without government getting its molesting hands all into it, “for compassion-!”.

    The government run schools are achieving their goal – an increasingly ignorant and compliant population-!

  9. Thanks Donna C.– it’s a real joy to hear from you again.

    Steve T.– Outstanding comeback comment!

    • ikabod
    • Posted April 22, 2010 at 10:28 am
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    Let us remember however we are just in the beginnings of this “deal”. We still have to “pay” for it…. But thats ok, we can go after the so-called rich! You know the ones who normally create jobs…. One reason why I’m getting the feeling the rich-soaking scheme is NOT going to pan out. Yesterday, one of Obamas henchmen floated the idea of a Value Added Tax, here in the US. To do this sort of questioning is libel to get me thrown in a reeducation camp, yet for now while we still can speak out openly against our government I’ll keep digging. I know, I know why am I combining VAT with HCR? Good question. One only has to do a google search with the koskids and VAT and BINGO!:,-You-Pay-For-Health-Care

    Yep, its going to cost a bundle to pay for HCR. Oh, but lets thank Obama for 60 years of low taxes!…..

    • wootabega
    • Posted April 23, 2010 at 7:47 am
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    “And how many folks from this country, who need prompt heart by-pass surgery, die while on a long waiting list?
    Canada, the UK, … all these places that have these ‘wonderful’ health systems have 12%-17% higher death rates among such time-critical health needs.”

    Yet those same countries also have higher life expectancies than us while spending much less on health care.

    Critical emergency care in the US is great, but preventive care leaves much to be desired here.

    • Steve T
    • Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:38 am
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    I will do my best to recall the pertinent points made by a senior actuarial whose career specialized in life & health risk assessments. He was interviewed on a radio show early in the ‘health care debates’.

    When comparing life expectancies between different countries, and associating these figures directly with the quality of their health care industries,… this is a very common assumption… and very mistaken.

    [This is why I enjoy listening to other parts of the media other than CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, et al…]

    The Western European countries have much more homogenous populations and cultures, compared to the U.S. The greater diversity (I hate using that word!) and varied people groups in the US has a direct bearing on crime, accidents and other misbehaviors that directly, or indirectly contributes to fatal incidents.

    When comparing ‘apples to apples’, the US health system generally has better survival and life extension that do comparable circumstances in most other parts of the world.
    One example and often trumpeted claim is the infant mortality rates in the US are lower, compared to Western European countries.

    The terms and conditions how infant mortality is calculated in the US has significant differences ( mathematically ) than how they determine it in Europe. In the US, every case of pre-mature birth is counted, as are cases where pre-natal diagnosed conditions that are life threatening to the unborn baby.

    NOT so, in Europe. Basically, they begin with a normal term, complication-free birth, and count their statistics from mostly that infant population group. They do not consider extreme premature babies to be counted, among other inconvenient realities that might taint their track record.

    Here in the US, we count all our warts & pimples & hiccups.

    So, US overall life expectancy statistics include the Chicago-style high murder rates (a problem allegedly solved by the (then) local community organizer named Barack Obama), the butcher-bill murder rates in Washington DC, South-Central LA drive-by shootings,… and there is a laundry list of other social behaviors that result in toe-tags adorning the bodies,… all before our health care system has a chance to be a factor.

    On the bright(er) side, generally, US doctors tend to have more experience with life threatening trauma situations.

    If some thug has cracked you skull open, and ‘gifted you’ with a few bullets in your chest,… where do you want to be, at a trauma center here in the US, or somewhere in Europe-?

    • wootabega
    • Posted April 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm
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    Steve T,

    Where are you getting this info of the U.S. having a LOWER infant mortality rate than most Western European countries? From everything I’ve seen, that is the exact opposite of reality.

    The U.S. has more reported cases of premature births which is a major contributing factor to the infant mortality rate, and has a higher rate of premature births than western European countries.

    However, the U.S. overall has a higher survival rate for premature births than most European countries. So, once again we come to the fact that the U.S. has excellent emergency care.

    But we also come back to the poorer preventive care as well. Yes, the U.S. life expectancy is impacted by issues of society, but the leading causes of death put medical matters above incidents of homicide; heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and strokes all tower over that.

    Some of those European countries have only marginally lower homicide rates than the U.S., so I think the true height of their impact is something to be considered.

    • Steve T
    • Posted April 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm
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    Well, Shooooooot, Woot-!,

    I suppose I ought to go fishing for direct sources, links, and such cross references to include proof that Sarah Palin is not part of some UFO fly-bye formations-! (please excuse my dry sarcasms-!)

    Candidly, I suppose it is incumbent upon me to provide references to contradict the “status quo” media chatter and beliefs, that the US infant mortality rates are not worse than W. European mortality rates.

    Next project: The 10th Amendment is being (serially) violated by Obama-care.

    All-righthy-!,…please give me a little time,…I hear through the ‘grape vine’ that this new Comment Moderator Zack has hired is a no-compromise ‘nut buster’, so I cannot provide an entertaining hot-link from You-Tube, or some Marvel Comic link that Chris E or Ken would drool over-! Ok-?

    I am just a semi-over-the hill guy,… marginally pathetic in the area of internet research,… and I have three cats who always want attention, or food, or cannot accept the fact that I need to sleep, too! — more to follow.

  10. Glad to hear, Steve, that your cats will not be contributing to the general mortality rate in the US because they’re being fed tonight. Appreciate the background material, too. Hang in there, we’re in for a bumpy ride as Obama helps bring to the nation the kind of solutions that have made Chicago such a peaceful and upright exemplar.

  11. Thanks Scott for the valuable input. Love the comparison of Obamacare to critcal radiation exposure.

  12. Well, in any case, the good angle here is that whatever problems with the “free market” (NOT, due to state agency oversight and actual limits on whom you can purchase insurance from) form of health care, now that we’re about to copy Euro-Canadian health glop and have MRI wait times of several months rather than several minutes (I got one the other week) at least the toys are not made of real flesh.

    Guess that helps.

  13. Ikabod: the only VAT I’m interested in is the one full of water that I want to see Obama dunked in. Make that Kool-Aid, in honor of the official drink of the modern Democrat Party. Red Kool-Aid.

  14. wootabega and Steve T, best I can offer on short notice (i.e. laziness) is Ann Coulter citing similar:

    Life expectancy:

    Americans are also more likely to overeat or smoke than people in other developed nations. And the two biggest killers in the Western world are obesity and smoking.

    In 2003, America led the world in smoking-related deaths among women — followed by Hungary. Simply excluding all smoking-related deaths from the World Health Organization’s comparison of life expectancies at age 50 in 20 developed nations would raise U.S. women’s life expectancy from 17th to 7th place and lift American men from 14th to 9th place.

    Americans are also more likely to die in military combat than the whimpering, pant-wetting cowards our military has spent the past 70 years defending — I mean, than “our loyal European allies.” This is a health risk Europeans have managed to protect themselves against by living in a world that contains the United States military.

    These are risk factors that have nothing to do with the health care system. To evaluate the quality of our health care, you have to compare apples to apples by looking at outcomes for specific medical conditions.

    Although the United States has a higher incidence of heart disease, cancer and diabetes compared to Europe — because of lifestyle choices and genetics — it also has better survival rates across the board for all these medical problems.

    A European study found that, compared to 18 European countries, the U.S. had strikingly higher five-year survival rates in all 12 cancers studied, except for one: stomach cancer. Even there, the survival rates were close — and the difference was attributed to the location of the cancer in the stomach.

    For all types of cancers, European men have only a 47.3 percent five-year survival rate, compared to 66.3 percent survival rate for American men. The greatest disparity was in prostate cancer, which American men are 28 percent more likely to survive than European men.

    European women are only 55.8 percent likely to live five years after contracting any kind of cancer, compared to 62.9 percent for American women.

    In five cancers — breast, prostate, thyroid, testicular and skin melanoma — American survival rates are higher than 90 percent. Europeans hit a 90 percent survival rate for only one of those — testicular cancer.

    Most disturbingly, many cancers in Europe are discovered only upon the victim’s death — twice as many as in the U.S. Consequently, the European study simply excluded cancers that were first noted on the death certificate, so as not to give the U.S. too great an advantage.

    Infant mortality:

    Even with a higher-risk population, the alleged differences in infant mortality are negligible. We’re talking about 7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the U.S. compared to 5 deaths per 1,000 for Britain and Canada. This is a rounding error — perhaps literally when you consider that the U.S. tabulates every birth, even in poor, small and remote areas, while other countries are not always so meticulous.

    But the international comparisons in “infant mortality” rates aren’t comparing the same thing, anyway. We also count every baby who shows any sign of life, irrespective of size or weight at birth.

    By contrast, in much of Europe, babies born before 26 weeks’ gestation are not considered “live births.” Switzerland only counts babies who are at least 30 centimeters long (11.8 inches) as being born alive. In Canada, Austria and Germany, only babies weighing at least a pound are considered live births.

    By excluding the little guys, these countries have simply redefined about one-third of what we call “infant deaths” in America as “miscarriages.”

    Moreover, many industrialized nations, such as France, Hong Kong and Japan — the infant mortality champion — don’t count infant deaths that occur in the 24 hours after birth. Almost half of infant deaths in the U.S. occur in the first day.

    Apart from the fact that we count — and try to save — all our babies, infant mortality is among the worst measures of a nation’s medical care because so much of it is tied to lifestyle choices, such as the choice to have children out of wedlock, as teenagers or while addicted to crack.

    The main causes of infant mortality — aside from major birth defects — are prematurity and low birth-weight. And the main causes of low birth-weight are: smoking, illegitimacy and teenage births. Americans lead most of the developed world in all three categories.

    Although we have a lot more low birth-weight and premature babies for both demographic and lifestyle reasons, at-risk newborns are more likely to survive in America than anywhere else in the world.

    It’s in two links to her site through this link:

    • Wake
    • Posted April 29, 2010 at 5:59 am
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    The context of those glorious Euro-stats exlained.

    Plus, if things are so grand with Britain’s NHS (the world’s third largest employer for all it’s moronic bureacracy) then why are many in the NHS now getting special permission to pay cash and jump to the head of the line, AND also see doctors deemed outside the system that the regular schmucks must go to???

    Are Senators going to go to ObamaCare glop?

    Of course not.

    The hypocrisy of socialized meds is overwhelming:

    “My health, my choice.”

    Interesting, the feminists who used to shout stuff like that “get your Rosaries off my Ovaries” never seem to apply the issue of government body control to EQUALLY valid issues of Nanny oversight with government health takeover, such as, say “GET YOUR BUREAUCRATIC OFF MY LYMPHATICS.”

    Funny, in a gallows way.

  15. Scott: Thanks for the excellent background info. It’s almost getting so I don’t have to go outside of my own Comments section to get a grip on the world.

    Wake: [“Plus, if things are so grand with Britain’s NHS then why are many in the NHS now getting special permission to pay cash and jump to the head of the line…”]

    Britain too has it’s Bunny Bixleys, literally dying while awaiting their good little socialist turn in a line longer than the ticket-sales line The Beatles would get if they were to be resurrected and play Shea Stadium again.

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