It’s become a trope for progressives to point out that the United States is the only developed country still using a capitalist healthcare system, and that countries with single-payer seem to have no intention of ditching it.
Unfortunately for the left, this barely counts as an argument for several reasons. But most important of all is the larger question this sentiment touches on — do governments ever abandon their welfare programs for any reason at all?
The real danger in expanding welfare states indefinitely is not the cost they pose to taxpayers, particularly those at the upper end of the socio-economic ladder. Instead, it is the culture of dependency they create.
Consider this: Great Society programs like Social Security were supposed to be temporary, as was the income tax. As everyone reading this understands, neither of these went away.
Because keeping programs like this in place allows time for a lobby structure to be built around them. Even most Republican lawmakers would never touch Social Security, because the political establishment has succeeded in making these programs into quasi-rights.
Welfare states are beasts that consistently grow. The only thing that really changes between regimes is how quickly they do so.
~ Facts Not Memes