While the United States Supreme Court has ruled that ObamaCare is legal from a constitutional standpoint, implementation of ObamaCare may not be so easy at the state level.
The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that, should it become law, would make ObamaCare “null and void.” The bill passed the House by a vote of 65-39.
The nullification bill, known as the Freedom of Health Care Protection Act, would specifically bar employees or representatives of the state from “enforcing or attempting to enforce such unconstitutional laws” and “establish criminal penalties and civil liability” for anyone who participates in actions aimed toward implementing or enforcing ObamaCare.
ObamaCare, known formally as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires that all Americans obtain health insurance.
Various lawsuits against portions of ObamaCare are still pending, including from various Christian-based employers whose religious beliefs are being violated by having to adhere to ObamaCare’s provisions related to providing contraceptives. In addition, many individuals are opposed to the legislation because it has been deemed a tax, which is believed to violate Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution, which states that all bills designed to raise revenue must originate in the House of Representatives. ObamaCare originated in the Senate.
The South Carolina nullification bill would empower the state Attorney General to take necessary actions to stop anyone causing harm by implementing ObamaCare. In addition, the nullification bill would allow any South Carolina taxpayer who has to pay a penalty related to ObamaCare to fully deduct the amount of that penalty from their state income tax, thus leaving the individual zero dollars out of pocket.
The act now goes to the state Senate for further review.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley supports the nullification bill, as she is opposed to the expansion of Medicaid insurance as well as other facets of ObamaCare.
“South Carolina does not want, and cannot afford, the president’s health care plan, “Haley declared at a recent Conservative Political Action Conference in March. “Not now, and not ever. To that end, we will not pursue the type of government-run health exchanges being forced on us by Washington. Despite the rose-colored rhetoric coming out of D.C., these exchanges are nothing more than a way to make the state do the federal government’s bidding in spending massive amounts of taxpayer dollars on insurance subsidies that we can’t afford.”
Other aspects of ObamaCare are also encountering difficulties as well. The Obama administration was planning to enact special provisions to make implementing the act easier on small businesses. However, implementation of those provisions has not been delayed until 2015 at the earliest.
“Lots of small businesses struggle with providing insurance for their workers so this was supposed to facilitate it and make it easier for small business to do this,” noted Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “It was a huge portion of the sale job. When they passed the law in 2010 there were many senators and members of Congress who were saying ‘I am doing this because it’s going to help small businesses.'”
With the delay of those provisions, the help provided to small businesses related to ObamaCare is now in question.
Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.