My Facebook friends are expressing literal terror at the prospect of the repeal of Obamacare. Without Obamacare there will apparently be no health care services available at all to some of the richest people on the planet. I think it is kind of interesting for what it reveals about how people think about government and government programs.
Nobody asks “How did Americans survive from 1630(ish) through 1965 when there was no Medicare or Medicaid?” or “How did Americans survive from 1630 through 2013 when there was no Obamacare?”
It is sort of the same thing with the federal Department of Education, created by Jimmy Carter in 1979. The assumption seems to be that U.S. states, most of which have populations larger than countries with successful education systems (see Finland, for example, with 5.5 million people), couldn’t possibly run schools without federal assistance.
Given the paranoid psychology of so many U.S. voters, terrified that a fairly new government program might be discontinued, can we conclude that growth of government is inevitable? We have a mechanism for creating new programs and handouts, but no way to shut down an old one.