How to Help Someone Through a Health Scare

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Reader Comments (62)

Not to go all political but this comic made me proud to be British. The concept of paying to get checked out for a heart attack is almost unimaginable.

Also, it was funny.

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTophernator


We call it self-reliance. Its an American thing, you wouldn't understand.

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterprofessor

If we get a new president in the upcoming elections, I just might move to Great Britain (or Canada, or any of the Scandinavian countries)...

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

...and one more thing; the reason the anti-health care argument is winning big over here is because many conservative talking heads on this side of the pond would cite maybe one or two "horror stories" of NHS care gone wrong, and their easily persuaded listeners take those isolated examples as the norm. I am presently employed and thus enjoy the privilege of receiving employer-subsidized health insurance, but I also believe it's a national shame that a catastrophic health problem could potentially bankrupt anyone here in the States.

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

I get the impression that many Americans think government health care is a pecularity of Canada, rather than the US being the odd one out among First World countries.

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Hutchings

See what you've done Tophernator?!?! This has been turned into a political battleground, like Yahoo! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
By the way, great comic Scott. As always.

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I am so tempted to argue, but seriously, guys, hush. Not here. BI is one of the few sites I go to where comment sections aren't full of arguments and insults, so don't ruin it. The internet has thousands of other places to start a fight about health care policies.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBWM

Is there any chance we can draw a line under the politics now...before it gets out of hand?

We all know debates won't be won and lost in a web site comments section, so let's just enjoy Scott's work.

Or feel free to ignore me. Your call... ;)

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Another Brit here also in agreement with the first post (both points raised!).

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Smith


We call it caring. It's a British thing. You wouldn't understand.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaddy

Thank God for Australian Medicare. Poor Mullet Boss.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmma


Clearly not. Your debate is literally incomprehensible to those of us in the UK. And it seems that our incomprehension is incomprehensible in the US. Amazing really

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGraham

Professor - yeah because anyone who isn't rich is obviously lazy or stupid and therefore doesn't deserve healthcare.

It's called compassion, it's obviously not an American thing*, you wouldn't understand.

*I know it's not all Americans really, but stereotyping is easy and fun.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Maybe next time Scott can make a comic on "How to turn the most innocuous comics into a political debate."

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDB

@Daisy I think it is a national shame that some are willing to bankrupt the entire country for a clunky, poorly devised health care bill. Don't let the door hit ya...

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTony

I'd like to thank the commentors for turning my great mood from reading a great comic into a bad one for reading political derp this early in the morning. If I wanted that, I'd go to Salon or Townhall.

Can't we leave someplace free from political ranting?

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean

@Tophernator: Put it there, champ! :-)

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRandy March

* Cough *

* Cough *

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGringo

Professor Stephen Hawking personally gave the finger to American self-reliance at the London Paralympics games opening ceremony. Figuratively speaking. I understand in the U.S., they are holding off on showing this on television for a few weeks, in case maybe he dies and self-reliance gets the last laugh after all. But it ain't gonna happen. Hawking and Castro, survivors of socialized medicine, in you face every day.

Actually... if your heart stops and you pay a doctor to fix that for you, how is this self-reliance? Shouldn't you just pound your own chest for as long as you can keep it up?

My sister's husband just had a heart attack, he is home from hospital today... I wonder if I should tell them about this comic. And what I just wrote. Hmm.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Carnegie

@ professor:

No, self reliance would be not needing to go to the hospital because you were able to self-diagnose and self-treat without anyone else's assistance. But of course, in order to have those skills, you would rely on someone else to teach you them, so you still wouldn't be self-reliant.

The NHS (and other universal healthcare provision around the world), among other principles, epitomises the enlightened self-interest of realising that when your neighbour's house is on fire, you help put it out because it might spread to yours; and (less metaphorically speaking) that when your neighbour is ill, it increases your own chances of getting ill, so you help them get better quicker.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSnowdropExplodes

I'm 5he doctor who checked your boss last night. He really did have a heart attack, but... I just didn't have the heart to tell him. :)

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjh

Free health care isn't...

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMr Ed

Professor: self-reliance isn't an "American" thing. It's a "stupid" thing. Society isn't just a mob of individuals, it's a group united by common ground. We each of us are responsible for all of us. Some people have trouble through no fault of their own, and they should be able to expect the rest of us to step up and help when they need it.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShadeTail

I should know better than to talk politics on the internet, but here goes...

Wanting and enjoying decent health care does not mean that you are not "self-reliant". And struggling to try to get health care you can't afford, or paying ridiculous prices when you can afford it, is not "self-reliant" either. My Dad was diagnosed with high blood pressure almost 3 years ago. The doctor who saw him (he went in for a broken arm) was more concerned about his blood pressure than his arm, and prescribed him some medicine for it right away. In the 3 years since he struggled to try to get health care so he could get seen. He's struggled in poverty pretty much his whole life, and the only way to get seen was ER or urgent care clinics. In the 3 years since he could never get anyone else to prescribe him the medicine he needed, because it wasn't an emergency. 2 months ago he passed away of a massive heart attack. He was 46. That a man should die so young, when we have the ability to save him, just because he was poor, is disgusting. It sickens me when people act horrified at the idea of a decent health care system. How can people being able to afford to go to the doctor be a bad thing? It is nothing but ignorance and fear of change that causes people to say those things...

Scott, sorry for bringing down the comments section.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSouthern Belle

As an American, I can say our heathcare system as a whole is anything but self reliant. Medicare, Medicaid, and other goverenment subsidised (hence tax payer and paying patient subsidised) progams are proof of that. I'm sick of us letting the bureaucracy forcing us down the middle. America, pick a side and move. Either one would be better than what we have right now.
That said, I hate it when people get political on comedy based websites. I'VE LET YOU MAKE ME INTO WHAT I HATE!!!!
Love the comics Scott. Keep up the good work.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthetrueb1

I know Canadians who drive across the border into the US for health care because they dislike their health system so much. See, when it's free, there's no reason not to go in for every little thing (like a head cold). When the hospital staff are dealing with countless minor ailments, it makes the wait time for important things much longer. I think the US health system clearly needs work, but I think if something is too expensive, buying it for everyone seems patently dumb. Let's work on making it cheaper.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Yeah, because self reliance is really useful when your heart is shutting down. I personally know I can crack open my rib cage, massage my heart back to good order, and then voom, off I go for a double wiskey and rib eye at the Ayn Rand Fun Center.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterW.R. Printz


"Self-reliance?" When you get sick, you rely on only yourself? What about the doctors and nurses? Do you build your own road to the hospital? Do you build your own hospital, for that matter? Your arrogant, nigh-solipsistic, and selfish attitude are what is bringing this country down and regressing it back decades, if not centuries. We're all in this together, and you better realize that before misfortune knocks you on your ass and you need a helping hand to get back on your feet.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDemosthenes


Yes, self-reliance, as endorsed by the great Ayn Rand. At least until the toxins of an unregulated industry drove her to accept Social Security and Medicare before dying of a heart attack. She is also highly regarded as the queen of irony.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSumocat

"many conservative talking heads on this side of the pond would cite maybe one or two "horror stories" of NHS care gone wrong"

I don't understand how that argument works. It'll be the same doctors, same institutions, paid for by someone else. Does care differ because of who pays?

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBig Dan


You'd rather pay to get nothing? (Or have someone else pay?)

It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise intelligent people think that health care is free if the cost is added to their tax bills (and otherwise honest people prefer that it be added to someone else's).

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmmonite

As a citizen of the American republic, which died in a Supreme Court coup over eleven years ago, I can say that there is a word for having to spend thousands of dollars that you don't have because of a sudden chest-pain in the night. "self-reliance" is NOT that word.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Sometimes life sucks, Daisy. That's why we need Basic Instructions to help us through.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermstrange


August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpablithemantis

Can we please have a break from the politics? We get enough of that everywhere else! It was a funny comic about a rich guy who was upset at a false alarm because it cost him money instead of being thankful that it was a false alarm. It was funny!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanette

I like the idea of not running to the doc at the first sign of anything wrong (chest pains are an exception). Too many people crowd doctors and ER's just to be told to go home and rest. Or they're prescribed drugs they don't really need, which just serves to weaken your immune system over time (so says non-medical me, but I'm living proof).

Your best bet is to tell yourself you don't get sick, and then only go if you're forced, like when I sliced my index finger with a bread knife and it was still bleeding the next day. Yeah, the doc was horrified that I didn't come right in, but it's fine now and I have a better scar, which comes in handy when telling tales of fighting off The Knifeketeer with nothing more than a whisk broom.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Bisciglia

Love your comics, Scott.
Can you do one about the gun control, and we'll get lively discussing politics across the Atlantic?

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEurocommie

This is one of the best comics in recent memory. Excellent job!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I resisted participating when there were only four comments. Now, I'm in...

Obamacare is a first step towards living in an advanced society. Looking out for the least among us is part of living in a civilized society (and a tenet of most religions.) Obamacare attempts to lower the cost of healthcare. It is an old Republican plan; thus, it is imperfect. Doing nothing (the new Republican plan) was not an option. Costs would continue to spiral upward and more and more would do without decent healthcare.

Obamacare increases benefits for seniors on Medicare. That is fact. Undoing Obamacare (this will never happen, of course) would increase healthcare costs. That, too, is fact. Obamacare is not a government takeover. If anything, it is a trade of increased business for the healthcare lobby, in exchange for them giving up preexisting conditions, cutting off people who are ill, and other blatant evils. Insurance is cheaper when more people participate. Again, these are simple facts. Obamacare is not free. Then again, neither is paying for acutely ill people who show up in emergency rooms. Prevention is cheaper than most cures. Fact smackdown.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

Non-political comment ahoy!

I'm sending this comic to my hypochondriac friend RIGHT NOW. And reciting it every time she gets a cough and thinks it must be cancer. Ha! Thanks, Scott!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah
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