By the time of the founding, the definition of federalism was already so firmly settled and so deeply imbedded in the American understanding of good government that James Madison, in his defense of the proposed constitution, felt it necessary to assuage worries of some Americans that the state would surrender sovereignty under the new federal system. “Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act,” he wrote in The Federalist, No. 39.
The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was apparently dumbfounded recently when a reporter asked about the constitutional authority for requiring people to buy health insurance, as mandated in the healthcare reform bills before Congress.
AARP, the 40-million-member senior-citizen lobbying group, and the American Medical Association, representing 250,000 physicians, on November 5 threw their support behind the healthcare reform bill being proposed by House Democrats.
Most people (including Members of Congress and the press) won’t read the nearly 2,000-page healthcare bill (“Affordable Health Care for America Act”: H.R. 3962). Consequently, like most Americans, they are oblivious to the elephant in the living room that’s about to transform the nation. While legislators shadow-box over public-versus-private options, trillion-dollar debts, and socialized medicine, tucked away in the bill under warm and fuzzy labels are numerous sops to the mental-health industry.