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Impact of New Healthcare Legislation HR 3962 on The Outsourcing Industry

President Barack Obama had a hard won victory on Saturday night (the 7-8th day of November 2009) when the landmark health care reform legislation (HR 3962) was passed with 220-215 votes. Now if everything goes the Obama way, then by the end of the year ’09 “Affordable Health Care for America Act” would apply as a law impacting almost fifty million US lives. But what does this Act actually imply? How does it stand to impact an average US life? How does the Act affect the outsourcing industry at large? Through my article below I endeavor to answer these and many more questions.

Ab-initio we will refresh the fundamentals of federalism, stating the Roles, Duties, Nature, Scope and Restrictions on the government in a written federal constitution. Next we proceed to see whether the above attempt by the federal government to accede healthcare legislation is ultra-vires the powers granted by the US Constitution.

What is Federalism?

According to the traditional classification followed by the political scientists, constitutions are either unitary or federal. In a unitary constitution, the powers of the government are centralized in one government viz., the Central Government. In the federal constitution, on the contrary, there is a division of power between the federal and the state governments in a way that they are both inter-dependent and independent at the same time.

As we all know that Constitutions are organic documents which operate as fundamental law. The governments and their organs owe their origin to the constitution, derive their authority from the constitution and discharge their responsibilities within the framework of the constitution. The judiciary has the power to declare a law unconstitutional if the law is found to have contravened any provision of the constitution. The American Constitution is the oldest and a well praised example of federalism.

What are the powers granted by the US Constitution to the State Government?

Powers reserved for State Governments are:

  • Establishing local governments
  • Issuing licenses (driver, hunting, marriage, etc.)
  • Regulating intrastate commerce
  • Conducting elections
  • Ratifying amendments to the U.S. Constitution
  • Providing for public health and safety
  • Exercising powers which are neither delegated to the Federal Government nor were prohibited from the States by the Federal Constitution (residuary powers)
  • Framing other domestic law (for example, setting legal drinking and smoking ages etc.)

What are the powers granted by the US Constitution to the Federal Government?

Under the Constitution, powers reserved for the Federal Government are:

  • Printing of money
  • Declaration of war
  • Establishing the armed forces
  • Entering into treaties with foreign governments
  • Regulating commerce domestically and internationally
  • Establishing post offices and issuing postage
  • Making laws necessary to enforce the Constitution

What are the powers shared by Federal and State Government?

Under the Constitution, the shared, or “concurrent” powers are:

  • Setting up courts
  • Creating and collecting taxes
  • Building highways
  • Borrowing money
  • Making and enforcing laws
  • Chartering banks and corporations
  • Spending money for the betterment of the general welfare
  • Acquiring private property with appropriate compensation

What is the HR 3962 Act ?

The HR 3962 Act conceptualizes a new, voluntary, public, long-term care insurance program to help purchase services and support for people who have functional limitations. The Act endeavors to form a new national program to provide affordable coverage for those who can’t get health insurance today because of pre-existing conditions. Under this, the insurance companies

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