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It's All About Balance

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Health care professionals—pharmacists included—watched closely as the Supreme Court heard the arguments concerning the health care law that has aroused so much controversy and concern in the 2 years since it was passed. Now we wait until we hear what the Court has to say. I would say that it bears very close watching, not just because millions of American will be affected and health care professionals will see their worlds changing, but because the issue strikes at the very core of what this nation was founded on—liberty, freedom to succeed, and limited government.

An expert in constitutional studies put it very well: “...the Court must articulate the constitutional vision and principles we’ve so long abandoned, as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals did when it ruled that Congress, in enacting this statute, had unleashed effectively unlimited regulatory power, tantamount to the general police power the Framers left to the states, and in so doing had upset the balance between federal and state governments that the Framers established for the purpose of securing our liber- ties.”

So says Roger Pilan, vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute and director of Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies, in discussing the oral arguments and the action against Obamacare taken by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business, and 2 indi- viduals. His analysis of how we got to this point in the first place puts the argument into proper perspective. It’s all about balance—and how this country’s founders set up the states and defined the role of the government. As James Madison stated, the powers of the new government would be “few and defined,” aimed mainly at securing liberty.

So what happened to change things so dra- matically that today the government is telling individuals they must buy health insurance or pay a penalty? According to Pilan, the constitution was turned “on its head” starting with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal because fundamental changes occurred—mainly due to politics—that put us on the road to an ever-larger gov- ernment. Congress also gained the power to regulate commerce among the states.

Today, the threat of Obamacare is strongly felt by the states—as 26 of them pushed back with the Supreme Court oral arguments in the past weeks. With the threat to withhold state Medicaid funds, the health care law uses Congress to try to compel the states to expand their Medicaid rolls and coverage. It will be extremely enlightening to see what the Supreme Court makes of such over-reaching govern- ment power—especially in light of the balance and constitutionally limited govern- ment the founders of the Constitution sought—and which has worked for more than 200 years.

Thank you for reading!

Blog Info
Mike Hennessy, President, Chairman, CEO
Blog Description
Mike Hennessy shares his views and perspectives on issues that affect pharmacists.
Author Bio
ABOUT MIKE HENNESSY, President, Chairman, CEO

Mike Hennessy is President, Chairman, and CEO of MJH & Associates and Intellisphere, LLC, publisher of influential journals in health care, finance, and politics, including Pharmacy Times. Pharmacy Times is a clinically based, monthly journal providing practical information pharmacists can use in their everyday practice. Each issue contains articles and features covering medication errors, drug interactions, patient education, pharmacy technology, disease state management watches, patient counseling, product news, pharmacy law, and specialty pharmacy. Pharmacy Times is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of free continuing pharmacy education.

As a businessman, entrepreneur, and publisher of magazines, iPad editions, projects, and Web sites that focus on the needs of health care professionals, Hennessy is intimately familiar with the challenges these professionals face every day in today's competitive practice environment. News & Views: Hennessy's Highlights dissects health care policy issues, the impact of pharmacy on national health care, and the critical issues that concern pharmacists as the new health care reform legislation is debated.

As publisher of Pharmacy Times, Mr. Hennessy launched the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards in partnership with Parata Systems, to recognize the achievements of pharmacists in health care. "As the leader in pharmacy publishing, Pharmacy Times is shining a light on the critical role of the pharmacist in today's health care world and providing invaluable insight into the profession," Mike Hennessy, chairman, chief executive officer, and president said. "We are proud to recognize individual pharmacists in this 2nd annual awards program."

Pharmacy Times is published by Intellisphere, LLC, a leading provider of health care publishing, research, information, and education. Operating within both traditional and digital media channels, Intellisphere serves the needs of health care professionals through an extensive suite of magazines, journals, e-mail databases, Web sites, events and personal meetings. Intellisphere reaches more than half a million health care professionals through Pharmacy Times, Specialty Pharmacy Times, The American Journal of Managed Care, The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, MDNG, HCPlive.com, Oncology & Biotech News, Oncology Net Guide, Contemporary Oncology, and Oncology Net Guide: Nurses' Edition.
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