Obamacare vs. the Big Gulp

big gulp

Two firsts on New York Times front page: Sequencing DNA is finally paying off, and sugary drinks test local prevention of obesity, a public-health disease-prevention problem that Obamacare took care to address (though hang on, since this type of federalism is multidirectional).

Why shouldn’t locales like New York City be able to prevent diseases, particularly ones that strike the urban poor the hardest, from exacerbation when the state has a public-health exchange?

Obamacare gives states and municipalities the capacity to test jurisdictional limits with the federal judiciary. This type of expansive power will be hard for the next President to ignore, neglect, sabotage, or defeat. But don’t think President Barack Obama didn’t think of this. Obamacare is nothing if not built on federalism — and federalism that goes in all directions is diagonal and horizontal federalism, as I explain in my latest book.

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About Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Faculty/Core-Bios/Ruth-O-Brien)

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