Email #298: “bi-partisan solution”?

You said last December: “I am working towards a bi-partisan solution to solve the problem of unaffordable health care.” That was ten months ago. Have you made any progress on that solution? For it to be bi-partisan, you must have been working with at least one Democrat. Could you name who that was?

After the Senate failed to pass the AHCA in July, you said: “I will keep working towards a solution to increase access to care and deliver affordable health insurance options.” What happened to the “bi-partisan” part? Did you abandon what you had been working on before supporting the highly partisan AHCA?

Now the GOP has again failed to pass a partisan healthcare bill. Despite controlling 52 seats in the Senate, they could not reach even a 50-vote majority, let alone the 60 votes needed without the procedural manipulation of so-called reconciliation. According to the Congressional Budget Office, that latest partisan bill would have cut Medicaid by a $1 trillion, raised the number of uninsured Americans by millions, and eliminated federal protections for pre-existing conditions by turning over all control to the states. Little wonder it didn’t attract a single non-GOP vote and even lost at least three key Republican senators.

Now that the September 30 reconciliation deadline passed yesterday, will the GOP move to a centrist position on healthcare? If so, this would be a great moment to reprise that “bi-partisan solution” you were “working towards” last fall. Can you describe anything about that bill? Or, if it was only something still in its earliest stage, can you describe some of the process? What specific steps had you taken? Who else was involved that made the process “bi-partisan”? Or what aspects of the bill were designed to attract Democrats?

If you can’t answer any of these questions, then there’s no sense in which the solution could be called “bi-partisan.” Except perhaps in a Orwellian sense. George Orwell defines his 1984 term “doublethink” as telling “deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them.” Were you aware that you were lying when you claimed to be “working towards” a “bi-partisan solution” on healthcare or is your rhetoric so empty that you don’t register your own fabrications?

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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