The Powers of the State vs the Powers of the Federal Government
There is an ongoing debate between centralists and decentralist about state, local and government law regulation. This paper will show what the arguments would be between centralists and decentralists on The Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood, Energy assistance for low-income families and the sentencing reform for offenders convicted of crack-cocaine charges.
It is important to keep in mind the Tenth Amendment as it pertains to the reserved powers of the states. Powers of the States versus the Powers of the Federal Government There is an ongoing debate between centralists and decentralist about state, local and government law regulation. According to the text, centralists are people who favor national action over action at the state and local levels (Magleby & Light, 2009). According to the text, decentralists are people who favor state or local action rather than national action (Magleby & Light, 2009). In April 2011 Indiana Gov.
Mitch Daniels (R) signed HEA 1210 legislation that prevented Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds. Planned Parenthood of Indiana gets $3 million a year in government funds (Weiner, 2011). Planned Parenthood is a clinic for women that have been known to provide abortion services as well as other family planning services. Some believe that the Governor wanted this legislation signed into law to prevent women from using Medicaid funds to get an abortion. Planned Parenthood has been a target of anti-abortion organizations that stand outside of the clinic with signs to deter women from getting an abortion.
Federal law prohibits states from deciding which organization receives Medicaid funding for any reason other than quality of care (Weiner, 2011). Restricting Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood could be detrimental to the health of thousands of women that receive basic health care from the clinic, because not all of the patients are there for an abortion. In this case, centralists would put forth the argument that State of Indiana should not be allowed to dictate whether or not Planned Parenthood receives Medicaid.
Abortion is legal in Indiana and centralists would argue that the state does not have the right to tall a women what to do with her body. Restricting these funds would endanger that lives of unsuspecting Planned Parenthood patients. Decentralists would argue that the state has every right to decide who can and cannot receive Medicaid and for what purpose. Powers of the States versus the Powers of the Federal Government Decentralists would argue that those prospective patients could go to another clinic for their healthcare needs as Planned Parenthood is not the only healthcare clinic that accepts and receives Medicaid funding.
In this particular case the President of Planned Parenthood took the case to court and the Federal Government ruled that the state cannot restrict Medicaid funding to the clinic. Thousands of offenders convicted of crack cocaine charges will get out of prison early thanks to a sentencing reform that went into effect. Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act in August 2010, changing the 100-to-1 disparity between minimum sentences for crack and powder cocaine to 18 to 1 (Cratty, 2011).
Offenders will have about three years shaved from their sentencing and will become eligible for early release. Centralists would put forth the argument that this new sentencing reform is fair because it mostly affects poor people that were convicted of crack cocaine charges. They would also argue that crack cocaine is cheaper than powder cocaine and lower income people cannot afford it. Once lower income offenders are caught with crack cocaine they are convicted and given a longer sentences than other offenders caught and convicted of possessing powder cocaine.
Critics of the old sentencing system say it was unfair to African-Americans, who make up the majority of those convicted of possessing and distributing crack (Cratty, 2011). Centralists would argue that the sentencing reform is a welcomed reform for these offenders. Centralist would argue that the prisons are overcrowded and need to be emptied a bit. Decentralists would put forth an argument that this sentencing reform should be rejected because these offenders are still guilty of these crack cocaine and should not be rewarded with an early release date.
They would also argue that these offenders that are being let out early because of Powers of the States versus the Powers of the Federal Government this reformed law will just get arrested on another drug charge and then expect to get out early again. They can also argue that this news of the reformed sentencing will prompt families of convicted offenders bombard officials in inquiring about their family member getting out early simply because they have a drug charge. The public may take offense to these inmates celebrating getting out early when they are guilty of the possession of drugs.
Decentralists would argue that this is a kick to the face to the war on drugs. The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has allotted $1. 7 billion for the program so far this year, down from $4. 5 billion last year and $5 billion the year before (Reuters, 2011). Low income families count on energy assistance to heat their homes through the cold winter months. Centralists would put forth an argument that the plan to allocate less money towards energy assistance is a good one. They would say that people need to find another way to heat their homes and not rely on the government to do so.
They would say that the government cannot afford this expense and that people should get gainful employment to raise their families. Decentralists would put forth an argument that this energy assistance fund should not be reduce and should be increased instead. They would argue that in this uncertain economy that more families are struggling than ever before and need a little help to get by. They would argue that with the job market in its current state that more people have been unemployed and cannot find a job to support their families.
They would also argue that not every family that is benefiting from the energy assistance is unemployed. A lot of families are struggling with prices from everything from oil to groceries going up and their income is going down. Decentralists would argue that in the times of this economic depression that now is not the time to abandon its citizens when they need the government’s help so badly. They would Powers of the States versus the Powers of the Federal Government also remind the public that these citizens that they are abandoning are the citizens responsible for electing them to office.