Nothing makes government grow like a crisis. People get scared, politicians respond to that fear with promises that the state will step in and make everything better, and government ends up larger and more powerful. The pandemic of COVID-19 coronavirus threatens a world-wide wave of sickness, but it's the healthiest thing to happen to government power in a very long time. As it leaves government with a rosy glow, however, our freedom will end up more haggard than ever.
"You can look at it as socialized medicine," Rep. Ted Yoho (R–Fla.) said on Tuesdayabout White House proposals to have the federal government foot the bill for uninsured COVID-19 patients. "But in the face of an outbreak, a pandemic, what's your options?"
Yoho isn't the only Republican to have found a new place in his heart for government control of healthcare; obviously, the Trump administration is on-board, too. During Senate testimony, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Robert Kadlec, who coordinates the department's COVID-19 efforts, floated the idea of treating virus patients as disaster victims eligible for federal funds.
What else can you do "in the face of an outbreak, a pandemic" that has, so far, resulted in an estimated 94,000 cases and 3,200 deaths worldwide (though the numbers continue to grow)? You could, I suppose, rely on the same not-yet-entirely government-dominated health system that deals with influenza outbreaks every year. In the 2019-20 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention our long-time viral enemy has, so far, infected 32 million Americans, sent 310,000 to the hospital, and killed 18,000.