Defining State Power

by Mayimuna Nabagereka

In the current case of King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court of the US is being asked to define ‘State’ in the Affordable Care Act to mean that only a state government is authorized to set up an Exchange and if any state refuses to do so, the federal government lacks the authority to set up an Exchange even though the ACA also defines an Exchange as something that could be set up by either state or federal government.

To define State Exchanges as something that could only be set up by a state government is to display ignorance of the fact that the federal government also exercises state power and that is why it has a Department of State and a Secretary of State that represents the US internationally in dealings with other States.

To deny the federal government the authority to set up Exchanges for the equal protection of millions of citizens in states that refuse to do so would be to injure those citizens who may lose affordable healthcare coverage that they now enjoy.

In Political Science 101, every student knows that the word, ‘State’, does not apply only to state governments but also to nation states such as the USA


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