Federalism

This was an essay I wrote for an assignment.  We were to find Federalism in a news article and write an review and critique of the article.

Here is a link to the news article: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/28/politics/supreme-court-health-effects/index.html

Federalism

Since it’s conception the Affordable Care Act has caused controversy over many different groups of people, so much so that it was brought before the Supreme Court for a ruling on its Constitutionality.  What came from the ruling, as well as the propositioned law itself left confusion throughout the country.  News outlets immediately attempted to explain what happened.

This article attempts to explain what the Affordable Care Act, after the Supreme Court ruling in 2012, means for each individual citizen.  It ranges from the uninsured to small business owners, to the insured and big business insurance.  It states that the uninsured must be insured by 2014, insured are required to do nothing, young adults may stay on their parents health insurance until the age of 26, insurance companies can no longer deny an individual with pre-existing conditions, and small business and doctors have a bag full of new rules to adhere to.  The author’s point is to address what this law means for you, the citizen, the reader.  He takes little bias towards one side or the other and tries to tell simply what is happening and what it means.  It would seem he slighted the doctor’s and health industry personal with only a sentence mentioning, “medical groups have disagreed over the law.”

The article is riddled with content we learned in class; federalism and separation of powers just to name a couple.  The author states “the law threatens to remove existing Medicaid funding from states that don’t participate in the expansion” of Medicaid but reveals the Supreme Court ruled to remove that from the law since it would essentially have been the Federal Government bullying the State Government into doing what it wanted.  The act of the Federal Government creating the guidelines for the states and then allowing them to implement as they see fit is an example of cooperative federalism, which would be the rules for insurance companies and a general rulebook for what is expected from health insurance providers.

The fact that this had to be decided by the Supreme Court shows how our system is intended to work through a series of checks and balances.  The judicial branch in this case sided with the executive with minor concessions to the legislative. The law reaches out to the food industry now requiring chain restaurants to list calories under every menu item made possible through interstate commerce where the Federal Government has authority.  I would imagine local restaurants would not have to adhere to these provisions unless reinforced by the state, which is a prime example of federalism as well through shared responsibilities.

Though the law still draws controversy this article helps discern from naysayers and blind propagandists to what the law really means and how it will affect the individual.  More journalism should be fact based and less opinionated to allow for the readers to form their own opinion on the topic at hand.  He hints at a possible overreach by the Federal Government along with the good the law will do for the community but he doesn’t shy away from possible negative implications for small business owners and tax exemptions currently in place. From the Supreme Court stand point however, it has been deemed constitutional and has gone into effect.

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Filed under Essays, News, Nonsense

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