It’s difficult to overstate how essential the Build Back Better bill is when it comes to just about every aspect of American life – even going beyond infrastructure. Unfortunately, when it comes to legislation of any kind and clarifying what’s actually in it, it generally boils down to a lot of reading and explaining, that never really captivates the general public. This makes it easy for Republicans like Mitch McConnell to lie about what’s in the bill and call it socialism – the same recipe for attack that he tried with the Affordable Care Act a decade ago and that his party spent much of that time attempting to kill in whatever ways they could.
It also makes it easy for the media to spend much of its time showcasing the infighting of whether or not it ends up passing and finger pointing at who is most at fault, without doing much to educate viewers on what’s actually in the bill. This too, is reminiscent of what they did when it came to covering Obamacare and helped cause the popularity of that legislation to plummet.
Now it turns out that if BBB were passed, 3.4 million Americans would be covered with health insurance – the largest expansion of healthcare in American history since the ACA was first passed in 2010 – and making it possible for many people to be covered in Republican run states whose governors sued against having to expand under the ACA. Democrats in the Senate hope to have a vote on it before Christmas at the same time Republicans are threatening yet again to shut down the government over not getting their way and letting millions of Americans suffer and die – the contrast ahead of 2022 couldn’t be clearer than this.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making