Not We the States

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined,” James Madison said in Federalist No. 45, explaining why anti-federalists had no reason to fear politicians using the document to abuse power.  Madison further explained that all legislative powers granted to the government would be limited to those enumerated by the people.

But less than two decades after the Federalist’s bicentennial, the same abuse of power emerged with health care bills passed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and adopted nationally by Barack Obama.

A problem unique to the Romney plan adopted nationally was a reconciliation process used in the abuse power and about which Senator Mitch McConnell warned.

Using reconciliation to fundamentally change the health care of every American would be one of the most brazen single-party power grabs in legislative history.  It would be the death of bipartisanship. And Americans won’t stand for it.

Americans are proving McConnell right.  More than 55 percent of Americans surveyed want to repeal the health care bill.  And with a belief that it will increase the deficit, the people think Romney’s health plan is bad for the nation.

Americans also need to be aware of dangerous statements from Romney, who defends his legislation for “the rights of states,” not for the people.  Fearing such anti-federalist language by political elites like Romney, with the intent to abuse power, Madison wrote in Federalist No. 45.

“Was, then, the American Revolution effected…not that the people of America should enjoy peace…but that the government of the individual states…might enjoy a certain extent of power?

Calming America’s traditional fear of power abused by political elites like Romney, Senator McConnell said, “The only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things.”

Beyond putting someone in the White House who won’t threaten the abuse of government power with a veto, Americans need a president who recommends not a single-payer system but universal health care in the United States driven by consumers, through legislation that derives its just powers from the consent of the people through a constitutional amendment.


Roger M. Battistella, Health Care Turning Point: Why Single Payer Won’t Work (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2010).

The Staff of The Washington Post, Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All (New York: Public Affairs, 2010).