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This 1949 Chuck Jones Cartoon Makes the Case for Universal Healthcare

This 1949 Chuck Jones Cartoon Makes the Case for Universal Healthcare

The next time you find yourself in a conversation with someone who insists the idea of government-funded healthcare in the U.S. is somehow a new idea, just let this 1949 Warner Brothers cartoon do most of the talking for you. Brought to our attention via an article on BoingBoing, this short, titled “So Much for So Little,” was produced by the U.S. government in 1949 and directed by cartoon legend Chuck Jones, famous for many of the most popular Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons. It went on to win an Academy Award in 1950 for Documentary Short Subject.

Along with being beautifully animated, the short is helpful to refute those pesky claims that universal healthcare is some sort of radical hippie idea cooked up in the last few years. The details of the concept as presented in the cartoon have, as you can imagine, changed over the years, particularly when it comes to the country’s infant mortality rate, common diseases that infants face, and the how smoking as a health hazard isn’t even mentioned.

Additionally, the final figure of “three cents a week” that the cartoon states can fund public healthcare would barely be a drop in the bucket in modern costs. Yet, Boing Boing cites a piece that states a 2009 Kingsepp study showed it would cost taxpayers $3.61 a week to fund the Affordable Care Act (in its form at the time). If there’s validity to those figures, we’re still pretty much at the “for less than a cup of [Starbucks] coffee a week” levels of taking care of every American citizen.

What do you think of the short? Think something like what’s proposed in it is still possible? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Image: Academy Film Archive

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