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Federalism

Health Law and Policy

Boston University School of Law

2019

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Epilogue: Health Care, Federalism, And Democratic Values, Nicole Huberfeld May 2019

Epilogue: Health Care, Federalism, And Democratic Values, Nicole Huberfeld

Faculty Scholarship

Is the United States experiencing a “crisis of democracy in health care”? This symposium's central question can only begin to be addressed here. The answer depends, in part, on where we look and how we measure democracy.

Democracy is a complex ideal often said to be promoted by federalism. In health care, each level of government exercises power because federalism is a default choice in health reform efforts. This default enables state governments and the federal government to create, enforce, and adjudicate health law and policy - democratic operations at the national and the subnational levels. But on each democratic …


Federalism In Health Care Reform, Nicole Huberfeld Jan 2019

Federalism In Health Care Reform, Nicole Huberfeld

Faculty Scholarship

Throughout American history, protecting states’ rights within federal health reform laws has served purposes other than the needs of the poor, such as excluding those deemed undeserving of assistance, the “able-bodied.” This chapter explores the role of federalism in health reform, paying particular attention to the importance of universality in programs meant to aid the poor, such as Medicaid. American federalism is dynamic, involving separate state negotiations with the federal government rather than the fixed dual sovereignty imagined by the Supreme Court. Such negotiations lead to variability, which in health care may lower the baseline for reform-resistant states and thus …