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The Force Opposing Universal Healthcare Essay

1959 words - 8 pages

James Madison once said, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition”. In creating a new form of government, Madison tried to effectively plan for a Constitution that would account for the fact that human beings by nature are self-interested. The United States has witnessed tremendous growth within its people since Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Not only has rapid political and technological advances unified American into a supreme power, but triumphs like the Civil Rights Movement have also helped to promote equality. Yet, from 2009 to 2010, the number of people without health insurance increased from 49.0 million to 49.9 million. Analyzing James Madison’s ideology in The Federalist 10 and 51 suggests that a correlation exists between factionalism and the failure of the United States to universalize healthcare. In order to understand the connection of factionalism and national healthcare this paper will first explain Madison’s notion of factionalism by referencing key components and commentary from his argument in The Federalist 10 and 51. The second part of this paper will discuss the history of American healthcare as a means to explain the many factions that have hindered the success of nationalizing health insurance. Furthermore, referencing the emergence of factions within the healthcare debate, like the AMA (American Medical Association), will highlight the stigma surrounding national healthcare. The last part of this paper will put forward the question of whether America will ever see complete universal health insurance.
The Federalist Papers were a set of letters published in New York Newspapers that started as a rebuttal argument against the Anti-federalist that among all things feared government intervention. Although Alexander Hamilton wrote most of the federalist papers, Madison’s theory of factionalism in The Federalist 10 and 51 is highly influential. In The Federalist No. 10, Madison defines faction as “a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest”. Madison continues his argument stating that formation of factionalism attributes to the human condition and the desire for external pleasure.2 Furthermore, Madison points out “the causes of factions cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the mans of controlling its effects”. If a majority faction dominates government, Madison believes that the people will be forced to comply with the majority opinion.
In Dick Howard’s article, James Madison and the Constitution, the author feels that the U.S. has done well in controlling the tyranny of majority factions. However, Howards suggests that “Obviously, there are still “vested interests”, with allies in Congress and the federal bureaucracy”. Howard also believes that factious groups like PAC’s (Political Action Committees) have amassed tremendous power in Congress. Howard notes that...

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