Warning
In Spain, over the last thirty years, the powers of “Autonomous Communities” to guarantee welfare and social rights have witnessed exponential proliferation. Such expansion has occurred within the wider processes governing the transfer of powers from the central level and the consolidation of the political autonomy of “Autonomous Communities.” For instance, the vast majority of legislative powers in the social sphere are allocated to different levels of government according to a shared pattern, whereby the central level establishes framework legislation to be complemented and implemented by each of the “Autonomous Communities”. However, the practical difficulties of determining the scope of legislative competences within such a shared logic are a permanent source of intergovernmental and constitutional conflict in Spain. This paper seeks to analyse some of the constitutional coordinates that frame the federal tensions that have arisen from the last national legal reform, which have drastically curtailed the right to free health care for undocumented immigrants in Spain. The Spanish case illustrates the efforts of the Constitutional Court to conciliate unity and diversity in the legal design of health care, and highlights the crucial constitutional role of the subnational levels of government in preserving social inclusion policies in a context of general welfare retrenchment.
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Published on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 12:02
 
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