SINCE MONDAY, the number has persisted like a nasty symptom.

Yes, “24 million.” That’s the lingering stat from the CBO analysis. As The Washington Post reported this week, the Congressional Budget Office “predicts that 24 million fewer people would have coverage a decade from now than if the Affordable Care Act remains intact.”

Then there’s that other number: The Republican legislation “would lower the deficit by $337 billion.” Some lawmakers want you to stare at that total instead, like a bright light. Say, “Awww?”

The diagnoses abound, even as three Republican congressmen from Virginia are now lining up against their own party’s health-care plan.

Amid the profound gravity, this case calls for a moment of levity. Here’s how some top cartoonists are diagnosing the current symptoms of the system:

CLAY BENNETT (Chattanooga Times Free Press):


(Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press/WPWG)

STEVE SACK (Minneapolis Star Tribune):

by Steve Sack / Minneapolis Star Tribune (CagleCartoons.com 2017)
(Steve Sack/Minneapolis Star Tribune/CagleCartoons.com)

NATE BEELER (Columbus Dispatch):

by Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch (CagleCartoons.com 2017)
(Nate Beeler/Columbus Dispatch/CagleCartoons.com)

SIGNE WILKINSON (Philly.com):


(Signe Wilkinson/Philly.com/WPWG)

TOM TOLES (The Washington Post):


(Tom Toles/The Washington Post 2017)

DARRIN BELL (WPWG):


(Darrin Bell/WPWG)

MARIAN KAMENSKY (Cagle Cartoons):

by Marian Kamensky / Austria via CagleCartoons.com )(2017)
(Marian Kamensky/Austria via CagleCartoons.com)