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Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum

President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization, Infographic Design, Visual Thinking, Product Development and Marketing professional fascinated by good infographics.  Always looking for better ways to get the point across.

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Thursday
Oct112012

Obamacare: The Price of Socialized Medicine

Obamacare: The Price of Socialized Medicine infographic

The big news in the public health field in the U.S. is Obamacare. In response to its passing, Master of Public Health.org created The Price of Socialized Medicine: Obamacare’s Unconstitutionality by the Numbers infographic to give insight into how it will affect everyone.

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, in a landmark 5-4 decision. Unfortunately, they got it wrong. The PPACA, known colloquially as Obamacare, should have been struck down by the high court, as it is both unconstitutional and very costly:

  • Individual Mandate: Obamacare requires that all Americans carry health insurance or face an annual penalty. The federal government is effectively compelling individual citizens to enter a market, which is a clear violation of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that this was constitutionally valid as within Congress’ taxing power.
  • Medicaid Expansion: As the original Act is written, the PPACA would require states to expand Medicaid support or risk having their entire Medicaid federal funding cut off. This infringes on states’ rights. Fortunately, the Supreme Court did rule against these sanctions.

In response to the ruling, we have produced an infographic titled, “The Cost of Socialized Medicine: Obamacare’s Unconstitutionality by the Numbers”, which illustrates the folly of the PPACA as well as some of the costs that will be borne as a result.

Obviously, this design is promoting a specific opinion, but we’re here to discuss the infographic design itself.

  • The design outlines a really good step-by-step story top-to-bottom, and summarizes the data behind their point of view clearly
  • Good mix of illustrations and data visualization within each section.
  • In general, there’s WAY too much text in the design.  They want to be thorough in their explanations, but this much text will turn away many readers from reading the infographic at all.  Also, most of the text is too small to read on their landing page.  Less text would have been more effective, and allowed for a larger font.
  • The timeline looks like events along the heartbeat axis, but they aren’t spaced out appropriately to match their dates.
  • I like the icon representation of the justices.  Just enough detail to be recognizable.
  • Clear, easy to understand map of the costs to each state in the country map
  • The sizes of the circles in the Cost of Obamacare section are close, but not quite accurately representing the dollar figures shown.  Some are larger than they should be, and a couple are smaller.  Almost like the sizes were eye-balled instead of calculated mathematically.  Odd.
  • The states that have filed lawsuits would be easier to understand if the colored states were still placed within the map of the U.S.
  • Good list of sources
  • Need a copyright statement and the URL to the original infographic landing page for readers that find the infographic posted on the Internet to be able to find the original.

Thanks to Jimmy for sending in the link!

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Reader Comments (5)

Very intresting! Thanks!
October 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterloto
Also, from a data perspective, I think it would have been helpful to include information on how much it will cost those without insurance to get insurance. There is so much focus on the penalty costs, but one of the goals of the act is obviously for those people without insurance to get insurance by the deadline. If the cost of getting insurance is comparable to the penalty or more expensive than the penalty then it could have potentially helped the infographic creator make a stronger argument and either way, it would have been more informative to the reader.
October 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
It would be a better infographic if it actually included facts. These numbers are so misleading it's unbelievable. Even the title is wrong. The authors obviously don't know the definition of socialism. Also, by definition, if the Supreme Court ruled that the Act is constitutional, it's not unconstitutional.
October 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJustin M.
As a graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health and a practicing physician I can say that I dread the ACA. It is deeply flawed and executed (unlike this info graphic which will make into my presentations on ACOs) particularly on its definition of quality metrics. As a member of the Masshealth experiment I can say at least that program was smart enough to use broader quality metrics versus the boneheaded attempts of the ACA. I can't bring myself to vote republican but I really want this program repealed and sent back to the drawing board. Justin M, I normally don't call people out but you're at best disingenuous and at worst a moron. The variety of sources of data available and how they are imputed are as diverse as the people collecting the data themselves. To suggest that the author is misleading anyone is a fallacy, the author is making HIS argument from HIS perspective. The title in my opinion reflects the cost of the ACA the constitutionality part not withstanding. The tax is constitutional, not fair, but it is constitutional and flies in the face of social justice. Finally, I suggest you review the definition of the word socialized. Socialized is not equal to socialism. Your comment got a lot of laughs around the hospital. Take a deep breath and respect the opinion and work of others. The author did a great job presenting a complex program in a visually acceptable way.
November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBahstan Transplant
Yes indeed, very interesting! thanks for the article.
March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaspase 3 antibody

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