COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 9, 2012) – Hundreds of people rallied at the South Carolina state capitol building yesterday, calling on state lawmakers to nullify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
South Carolina Republican Liberty Caucus secretary Daniel Encarnacion estimated 300 to 400 showed up to demand the state do everything within its power to stop implementation of Obamacare in South Carolina. Others put the crowd at over 500 people.
Encarnacion said the huge turnout left an impression on lawmakers and put the Obamacare nullification bill, H3101, on the front burner.
“The GOP leadership was left scrambling,” he said. “The biggest sign of our success is the GOP leadership also had one of their lemmings introduce a bill to nullify Obamacare. It is a diversion bill, however. It nullifies it, but doesn’t have the criminal penalties. It has no enforcement mechanism. But it demonstrates what several hundred people showing up and knocking on legislators’ doors can do. Now we just have to keep up the pressure.”
In response, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly released a statement in support of PPACA nullification.
“South Carolina cannot afford to sit idly by while Obamacare is implemented in our state. Numerous bills have already been filed in our state legislature to prevent the implementation of the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” he said. “The SCGOP fully supports our state legislators as they defend states’ rights and the Tenth Amendment.”
One South Carolina mother brought four of her five children to the rally. She said health care was a huge issue for her because one of her daughters suffers from a chronic disease. She fears the implementation of the health care act will actually make it harder to obtain good treatment for her child because of its impact on the entire health care system.
“Obamacare will, first and foremost, directly impact our family through the medical device tax. Our 6-year-old has a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, which is a life-long disease, unless someone finds a cure,” she said. “One of the top doctors in the world in mitochondrial disease research already does not accept Medicaid as a form of payment, simply because the reimbursement doesn’t cover his expenses. I would much rather the biggest barrier to quality medical care be money than so many others: diagnosis, age, prognosis, not enough doctors, etcetera. Money is the easiest of those factors to overcome, particularly as it pertains to children’s medical care.”
Her 8-year-old put things more succinctly.
“I am glad that we went, and I think it’s a good thing to try to keep Barack Obama out of our way. He is a bad president because he takes money from people and does things that aren’t his job to do with it.”
Post-rally shockwaves continued to reverberate around Columbia Wednesday. H3101 was initially assigned to the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, chaired by Rep, Bill Sandifer. Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center say he was lukewarm toward the bill at best.
“I will read the bill and will look at it, but Obamacare is the law of the land,” Sandifer reportedly told activists, echoing the misguided notion held by many who insist that just because Congress passes an act, and the Supreme Court rubber stamps it, the Constitution suddenly changes to include new delegated powers.
On Wednesday, the bill was removed from Sandifer’s committee and assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
“He didn’t like the pressure he was getting,” one activist said.
Rep. Greg Delleney chairs Judiciary. Encarnacion said he was not sure how the bill will fair in that committee, but urged South Carolinians to keep up the pressure, calling it key.
“It’s hard to tell where these people stand. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes. The pressure helps,” he said. “Some of our activists who stay in touch with the General Assembly a lot think we’re going to see a lot of this where it’s moved from committee to committee. The leadership would rather not deal with it, but they’re being forced to. It’s imperative that we keep the pressure up long term.”
If you live in South Carolina, contact Rep. Delleney and ask him to support H3101. You can contact him at 803-734-3120. You can find contact information for other Judiciary Committee members HERE.
Also contact your own senator and representative and ask them to push for passage of H3101. You can find legislator contact information HERE.
If you live outside of the Palmetto State, you can still contact Delleney and let him know the nation is watching. Also, ask lawmakers in your state to introduce health care nullification legislation. You can find model legislation and track efforts to nullify Obamacare throughout the U.S. HERE.