Friday, October 18, 2013

Turn Your Head and Cough

Drawing this week's cartoon (see yesterday's post), I was reminded of the last time I included a hernia check in a cartoon.
In May of 2005, I was drawing weekly cartoons to illustrate the editorials of The Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee. The editorial this particular week questioned the need for two proposed competing hospitals in the Milwaukee suburb of Oconomowoc, opining that either one or the other would be plenty, while having two would drive up costs. (One often assumes that competition would drive costs down, but not in the field of health care. There are redundant equipment, maintenance and administrative costs -- which hospital can offer the larger pay package to a prospective CEO? -- and patients generally don't shop around for the cheapest hospital the way they would for muffler repair or a can of soup.)

The BJ editors decided that they were uncomfortable with the suggestive cartoon I drew for them (above). Now, I can recall health care cartoons in a similar vein, such as one by the Indianapolis Star's Gary Varvel showing then-President Clinton pulling on rubber gloves to give Uncle Sam a rectal exam -- if you want to depict any health care issue as being somehow scary, go straight for the groin. I guess what plays in big, cosmopolitan Indianapolis doesn't necessarily play in little old homespun Milwaukee.

With the deadline already past for my cartoon, I hastily replaced my original approach with this hackneyed hunk of drivel:
I don't think I even bothered to draw a pencil sketch of the replacement cartoon before inking it.

Both hospitals ended up being built anyway, incidentally.

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