If it weren't for the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution we wouldn't be having this debate over nationalizing health care.
The current plan is to force the states to pay for national health care. "YOU THERE! I COMMAND YOU TO DO THIS BIG EXPENSIVE THING AND FIND A WAY TO PAY FOR IT!" Doesn't seem right, does it?
It's not. Our founding fathers didn't want a system like this. They didn't want Congress to have this kind of power. They envisioned an America of individual States that were United for a very few common goals (such as protection from other nations). Kind of like a Europe with a small central government. France can set the rules and laws it wants and Germany can set up completely different rules or laws. Likewise their intent was that, for exampe, Michigan can force a minimum wage upon it's employers but Indiana could choose not to. If you live in Indiana and think the idea of a minimum wage is good, move there. If you find working or employment conditions better in Indiana (or there are few jobs to be had) and you live in Michigan, move there. Competition. It's what's for dinner.
The founding fathers carefully planned out a balanced system where the people elect members of the House while the states elect two members for the Senate, members that are intended to protect the interest of the states. In terms of the recent "debate" such an unfunded mandate would be shot down in an instant.
House and the President: "Hey, let's mandate national healthcare and force the states the pay for it!"
Senate: "Let me check with the governors of our states that send us to protect their interests.... Um... nope."
-End of discussion.-
When I was in skool I remember wondering what the difference between the house and senate was because I didn't see much of one. Too bad the teachers didn't explain this but I guess they were too busy praising FDR and Woodrow Wilson. I also remember wondering what the big deal with the 17th Amendment was. I mean, wasn't it corrupt for the states to NOMINATE someone for such a powerful position? Wasn't this America, the democracy, where people voted on things?
Maybe I wasn't paying attention or was too shy to ask. We are instead a Representative Republic. Our politicians can't, and shouldn't, stick a finger in the air and take a poll for each and every item up for vote. The American people are supposed to choose a candidate who reflects their values and if that candidate betrays them, they don't get re-elected.
The 17th Amendment, in my view, was a monumental dismantaling of the intricate balance of power that the founding fathers set up. Hey, if they overturned the 18th amendment then why not the 17th? DOWN WITH 17!