Progressive Federalism Under Attack
May 4, 2006 - 2:22pm ET
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All across the board, Republicans, now that they control all three branches of federal government, have jettisoned their former ideology of "state's rights." They've reverted to what some of us expected all along was their true philosophy—seizing power wherever they can and holding on to it for its own sake. Progressives, in retreat at the national level, have responded effectively by embracing local battles.
David Sirota, writing for TomPaine.com , covered legislative battles over the minimum wage, food-contamination standards and warning lables, financial privacy laws and predatory lending. Bernie Horn discussed the progressive hope of Maryland's Fair Share Healthcare Act.
Meanwhile, coalitions of states have tried to take on the federal government's refusal to mandate better fuel efficiency for SUVs and have sued the EPA over refusing to regulate emissions from power plants.
The newest battle is one of the most nakedly corrupt. Congressional Republicans are again proving their loyalty to medical insurance companies by attempting to deny states the right to demand that insurance companies provide coverage for basic medical procedures, like mammograms, diabetic supplies and contraception. According to the American Cancer Society, which has come out strongly against the proposed bill, S. 1955, a.k.a. the<!--StartFragment --> "Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act" :
<!--StartFragment -->S. 1955 would remove any guarantee of access for vital cancer screenings, prevention and treatments that are currently provided for under more than 130 state laws across the country. These include coverage for mammograms, colonoscopies, clinical trials participation and other screenings and treatments. ...
<!--StartFragment -->The bill imposes a “one size fits all” federal rule on the states. State legislatures passed insurance requirements in response to a need in the states, and the federal government should not override these laws, especially since doing so will weaken cancer patients’ access to life-saving benefits.
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