Julian Zelizer: What’s left of Build Back Better could still represent a massive achievement. He says Obamacare was intended to grant all Americans access to some form of health coverage. But a dozen GOP-controlled states remain holdouts, despite generous federal subsidies incentivizing them to participate. Zelizer says 2.2 million Americans below the poverty line still have no access to reliable health care, nor any feasible route to obtain coverage. Democrats have a duty to make sure these people finally get health insurance and the better outcomes that go with it, he says. This duty is partly political: Democrats control the Senate because they won both U.S. Senate seats in Georgia's Jan. 2021 runoff runoff. The winning candidates pledged to fix this problem, as Georgia is one of the holdout states
If Democrats don't fix the Medicaid coverage gap now, that’s tantamount to deciding that poor, mostly non-White Americans will have to make do without health care for the indefinite future. Democrats have argued (persuasively!) that everyone deserves access to health coverage, whatever their income or geography.