The federal health reform law is only the starting point for achieving
health care access for all Americans. Many states are already moving
forward, not only on implementing the basic provisions of the Affordable
Care Act in their states, but are also planning how to build on its
framework to further expand coverage and rein in costs for their
residents. The following are a few models of implementation and
comprehensive reform underway.
As this Dispatch will outline, their arguments
fail on multiple grounds:
First, conservative constitutional history
is dead wrong. The progressive vision of collaborative federalism
between federal and state governments clearly reflects the “original
intent” of the Constitution’s creators — including those who promoted
the Constitutional Amendments enacted throughout our history.
Second, conservative leaders are
constitutional hypocrites, talking about “states rights” even as
they support federal laws that restrict state authority in order to
protect corporate special interests.
Finally, unlike conservatives, progressives
practice real respect for state authority by promoting and
supporting state innovation and flexibility, a far more compelling
practice of federalism than the rigid and false constitutional doctrine
promoted by the right wing.