I don’t really see this as an argument about federalism. It’s one thing for me to argue as a pundit that Massachusetts should be allowed to have a big government health care system, but it’s another thing to be the governor who signed the legislation that created that system. The point is that when candidates seek the presidency, we judge them by their records. If they raised taxes and spending at the state level, that’s something they’ll be judged on when running for president. And Mitt Romney’s signature legislative accomplishment was creating a health care system that’s been used as the model for what Democrats are on the verge of passing nationally. Besides, federalist arguments are only valid when the policies of one state don’t have an impact on those living in other states. But as Cato’s Michael Cannon has noted, federal taxpayers picked up 20 percent of the Romneycare tab, because it expanded Medicaid eligibility — a program in which funding is split between the federal government and individual states.
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