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Essay Questions:
1. [12 points] Congressional authority was greatly enhanced by two Supreme Court cases, one interpreting the meaning of the “general welfare clause” of the Constitution and the other interpreting the “commerce clause.” The two cases are the United States v Butler and NLRB v Jones Laughlin Steel. Describe in detailthe influence of each in expanding congressional authority.
2. [12 points] No matter how America finally updates its legal immigration laws, we must also address the 10.5 million undocumented individuals living and working among us. Public opinion regarding the issue is widely divergent and Congress failed during the Bush and Obama administrations to craft a solution. Many conservatives envisage a massive nationwide manhunt for illegal immigrants while Democrats believe that something along the lines of the 1986 Simpson–Mazzoli Act would be the proper approach.
Because of your broad knowledge of the issue, you have been enlisted by congressional leaders to offer a compromise solution that will be palatable to both conservatives and progressives and, most importantly, serve the interests of the nation.
Be creative in fashioning a detailed plan to address the issue.
3. [40 points] Research Essay: Healthcare Insurance, Law & Policy
No matter who wins the upcoming election, the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare, ACA], healthcare insurance laws, Medicaid expansion and our whole healthcare delivery system will remain one of the most urgent issues facing America in the coming years. A Biden administration will consider how to expand the ACA to provide health insurance coverage to more people. Some progressives in Congress want to replace Obamacare with some form of Medicare-For-All, and many Republicans still hope to repeal the ACA completely.
As we have discussed before, laws simply reflect the outcome of our public policy debates, and that is especially true regarding healthcare. Our conversation about the issue has exposed deep philosophical fissures in America; is healthcare a basic human right or simply another commodity in a free market.
You work for a representative in congress who is undecided about whether they should support a. expanding the ACA, b. Medicare-For-All, c. repealing Obamacare entirely or d. maintaining the current version of the ACA. They have assigned you the task of collecting the research they will need to make their decision. They want their position to be data and science driven rather than political. To assist you in your task they have given you a basic outline for your research.
1. What should we be trying to achieve? What should be the goals of healthcare reform? [This part is key and will likely guide your work]?
2. In evaluating the four options, what are the right questions that we need to answer to make an informed decision?
3. What, if anything, can we learn from other advanced nations and their healthcare delivery policies?
4. What role should cost, health outcomes [like longevity and maternal health] and public opinion play in this decision? Explain how each of these factors into your decision.
Grading and rules: [4-6 pages, double spaced] You can draw upon our class discussion to answer the question, but you will need to do outside research too. Your answer will be graded on the logic and defense of your arguments, based on solid academic research rather than opinions and conjecture.
You also need to be specific, so, for instance, if you decide that we should expand the ACA, explain how you would do that.
Please use citations and a bibliography for all outside sources. You may use whatever citation format you are most comfortable with.


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