NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — Health care reform advocates promised paradise, but did they deliver a parking lot instead? Since the American people were willing accomplices in this debacle, is this an augur of a larger problem?

Simply put, is the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, the latest manifestation of an American drift towards European democratic socialism? Is it part and parcel of a philosophy - recently articulated by Pope Francis - that the state needs to control the market rather than the individual choices of those transacting business each day?

Some say yes, while others say such an interpretation is characteristic of rightwing or Libertarian hysteria. But the facts state otherwise.

Hillarycare was soundly rejected by the American people in 1994, but 20 years later Obamacare, which is Hillarycare version 2.0, was accepted by the American people. True, it was not widely accepted. Political deftness was required to pass the bill. But 20 years ago even Democrats ran away from Hillarycare.

President Baracked Obama's plan is merely a symptom of a larger problem. The truth is the shell game the government plays with the private sector did not begin with the ACA. It has been part and parcel of the envelopment of the market by the government apparatus.

In contrast to the "invisible hand" of the free market, many Americans seem to prefer the very "visible hand" of the government. So while the umbrage is aimed at Obama, he is merely the latest in the long line of leaders who promoting an iteration of "visible hand" economics.

Thomas DiLorenzo, a professor of economics at Loyola University in Maryland, says the drift towards government expansion can be traced to the Civil War era. He cited the Credit Mobilier scandal, which concerned the financing of the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. Congressional graft was a major factor.

"The Civil War was the great breaking point with regard to government subsidies to businesses beginning with the massive railroad subsidies that led to the Credit Mobilier scandal of the Grant administration," he said. "Such corruption had been predicted for generations by the Jeffersonians in American politics."

Is a government-business nexus an indicator of coming socialism? Eisenhower warned of a military-industrial complex. But he never mentioned that it meant socialism.

American corporations, though, did subscribe to a kind of socialism - specifically the auto companies and those on Wall Street. The CEOs of these companies temporarily shifted the financial capital of the United States from New York to Washington D.C. during the latest economic meltdown. So many CEOs went to D.C. begging for themselves and their corporations to be rescued from financial disaster that former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich severely criticized them.