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Obamacare’s success will not mean a leap to socialism, nor would its failure mean the end of liberalism. What the ACA really represents is yet another step on the United States' long, halting journey away from the classical liberal capitalist state and toward a peculiarly American version of social democracy.
Equality of opportunity has long been an American ideal, and the expansion of opportunity to women and minorities in the last half century has been a major success. But other obstacles to advancement remain, and recently, socioeconomic inequality has actually increased. The United States now has less social mobility than more other wealthy nations; it can and must catch up by following their lead.