Of course they didn’t. But imagine it. New Congress and their first order of business is to pass legislation that dismantles the public education system. Children are no longer guaranteed access to K-12 for free. Actually, they’re not even guaranteed access to K-12. Not as a fundamental right.
All schools in America have the right to refuse to accept any child for any reason. All schools in America can expel any child for any reason. And all of these schools will be sharing information between themselves freely, so if Billy or Jane got kicked out of third grade because their school didn’t feel like accommodating their food allergy or their disability, that could disqualify them from ever getting educated anywhere.
Imagine this happening, and people being suitably aghast. Imagine some people becoming indignant, insisting that the public school system was fundamentally broken and they were sick and tired of their smart, hardworking kids having to carry the burden of other people’s dumb, lazy ones. To say nothing of the amount of government money that had to be spent to keep the dumb kids in the system. These people would also like you to know that they work for a living, and have never once expected other people to pick up the slack for their own appalling lack of responsibility.
These people would correctly be called “jackasses.”
The above scenario is patently ridiculous because America has regarded the right to education as something fundamental, rational, reasonable…and sacrosanct. We all agree that the public education system is a no-brainer investment that pays back its expenses manyfold, in the form of a stronger, more capable population.
And we agree that it’s the right thing to do.
Guaranteeing all Americans access to health insurance (which equals access to the whole healthcare system) is just as fundamental, rational, and reasonable. It is also, patently, the right thing to do.
But it’s still something new. So it’s easy for jackass congresspeople and jackass commentators to pat themselves on the back for taking healthcare away from 30,000,000 people as their very first priority.
This isn’t to say that Obamacare is a perfect system, or that nobody has been hurt by it.
We fix the educational system. We don’t destroy it and then offer a vague promise — oh, dear, no, “promise” is way too strong a word — a vague hint that we plan to maybe someday get around to replacing it with something, I guess, when we get around to it, eventually.
People are going to die.
This isn’t hyperbole. Nobody should be okay with that.