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Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Impact of Federalism on Corporate Power in American Legislatures: The Case of Health-Insurance Reform

Florida, like about a dozen other states, debated in 2009 a proposed amendment to its state constitution that would have blocked, at least symbolically, much of the federal health-care insurance overhaul on the grounds that it tramples individual liberty. Behind the amendments was an industry with a vested interest—an industry that made substantial campaign contributions to the supporters of the amendment. An ethical conflict of interest lurks here, even if it is constitutional (assuming that wealth constitutes free speech, which itself is a problematic assumption), but the main issue here is how the blockage of federal law applying in Florida (and other states) would have affected federalism. What would have been better for the American federal system: federal or state legislation, or perhaps a combination? 

The full essay is at "Federalism, Corporate Power, and Legislation."