Obamacare vs. Federalism

Solicitor General Donald Verilli probably did not mean to suggest that the Supreme Court declare a constitutional right to health care in the Obamacare case—that would be truly unprecedented. But there is no escaping the fact that he did seek to persuade the Court that it should affirm yet another expansion of government power in service to the asserted liberties of 40 million Americans. In his argument, Verilli has turned the relationship between federalism and liberty on its head. Liberty is rarely the fruit of expanded government power, particularly where it involves the redistribution of wealth. Rather, liberty survives only through constant vigilance in the restraint of power, whether vested in the federal or state governments.

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