The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Healthcare Reform

ISBN : 9780199970025

Andrew Koppelman
208 Pages
147 x 211 mm
Pub date
Apr 2013
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The legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law, is quite possibly the most momentous Supreme Court case on the issue of federal power in our era. Yet, despite the Court's ruling, the issue of health care reform is still an incredibly divisive issue. For the left, the federal government has the power to regulate interstate commerce, and the health insurance industry surely falls under the definition of interstate commerce. For conservatives, the individual mandate is the core of the plan, and it represents an egregious erosion of individual rights and liberties. Andrew Koppelman, a leading constitutional scholar and an expert on the issue, thinks that the constitutional arguments against it are spurious, and in The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Health Care Reform, explains why. After walking readers through the 125-year modern history of Supreme Court cases dealing with the regulation of commerce, Koppelman tackles the arguments for and against the law. He contends that the New Deal established that that federal government had broad power over interstate commerce. If most commerce in a modern, complex economy like the US amounts to interstate commerce-as case law currently holds-then surely health care, which constitutes one sixth of the economy and is dominated by an insurance industry that crosses state lines, is interstate commerce too. Koppelman's book closes with an analysis of the final decision. The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Health Care Reform is an authoritative account of the issue-one that not only carries great implications for the upcoming presidential election, but which also serves as a definitive analysis for years to come.


Chapter One: The Road to the Mandate
Origins of health insurance
After Medicare and Medicaid
Chapter Two: Appropriate Constitutional Limits
The enumerated powers
Necessary and Proper
The unhappy story of judicially crafted limits
A Constitution of subsidiarity
Why the mandate is constitutional
Chapter Three: Bad News for Mail Robbers
The invention of the constitutional objection
Barnett's libertarianism
The path to the Supreme Court
The Broccoli Horrible
From court to Court
Chapter Four: What the Court Did
The mandate
Explaining John Roberts
Chapter Five: Where It Hurts
So what happens to the Medicaid expansion?
Your tough luck

About the author: 

John Paul Stevens Professor of Law, Northwestern University, and author of Defending American Religious Neutrality (Harvard UP) and A Right to Discriminate? (Yale UP)

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