A bill set for fast-track passage in the South Carolina Senate would effectively nullify Obamacare in that state – and could become a model for other states fed up with the president’s signature healthcare law.
House Bill 3101 passed the state House of Representatives in April and now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate with special-order priority, the Daily Caller reported
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If the bill becomes law, South Carolina will be the first state to exempt citizens and businesses from all participation in the Affordable Care Act, the Daily Caller reported.
The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Tom Davis, recently wrapped up study committee hearings in cities around the state, and says the proposed legislation would render Obamacare void or inoperable through a handful of provisions.
"It will essentially have five components to it, all of which, in my judgment, are legal, effective, and within the state's power to do," the Republican from Beaufort told the Daily Caller.
The bill's main component prohibits agencies, officers and employees of the state from implementing any provisions of the Affordable Care Act, leaving implementation entirely in the hands of the federal government, which, Davis contends, lacks the resources or personnel to carry out the programs it mandates.
"What the Supreme Court said in Printz v. United States is that states are not merely political subdivisions of the federal government, to carry out what the federal government does; they are sovereign entities," Davis told the Daily Caller.
"Congress can pass laws, but it cannot compel the states to utilize either their treasury or personnel to implement those federal laws."
Additional provisions of the bill would outlaw state exchanges, issuing tax deductions to persons equal to the tax penalties levied by the federal government, and directing the state attorney general to sue over whimsical enforcement of the law.
Taken together, the Daily Caller reported, the provisions would effectively repeal the federal law for the people of South Carolina.
Given the majority of Republicans in the South Carolina Senate — along with moderate Democrats who may support the bill out of fear of voter wrath — the proposed legislation is likely to pass in short order and be signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley, who has led South Carolina's resistance to Obamacare.
Meanwhile, political forces on the left and right are gathering for battle, including local tea party groups mobilizing support – and opponents who have called supportive lawmakers racists and questioned the authority of states to oppose federal laws, the Daily Caller reported.
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"God said the poor will always be with us. Not everyone can be helped," Sue Burbach, of the South Carolina Progressive Network, said at a public hearing in Columbia, S.C., last month, The State reported.
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