Federalism and the End of Obamacare

127 Yale Law Journal Forum 1 (2017)

U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 550

27 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2017 Last revised: 13 May 2017

See all articles by Nicholas Bagley

Nicholas Bagley

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: April 28, 2017

Abstract

Federalism has become a watchword in the acrimonious debate over a possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Missing from that debate, however, is a theoretically grounded and empirically informed understanding of how best to allocate power between the federal government and the states. For health reform, the conventional arguments in favor of a national solution have little resonance: federal intervention will not avoid a race to the bottom, prevent externalities, or protect minority groups from state discrimination. Instead, federal action is necessary to overcome the states’ fiscal limitations: their inability to deficit-spend and the constraints that federal law places on their taxing authority. A more refined understanding of the functional justifications for federal action enables a crisp evaluation of the ACA—and of replacements that claim to return authority to the states.

Keywords: federalism, Affordable Care Act

Suggested Citation

Bagley, Nicholas, Federalism and the End of Obamacare (April 28, 2017). 127 Yale Law Journal Forum 1 (2017), U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 550, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2959983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2959983

Nicholas Bagley (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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