COLUMBIA, S.C., Dec. 5, 2014 – The South Carolina Senate will get a second chance to stop Obamacare in the state with a new bill filed by Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 103 (S.103) declares the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be outside the reach of the federal government’s authority, making it null and void in the state.

“It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act within the limits of this State,” the bill reads.

Most importantly, the bill adopts anti-commandeering tactics prohibition state enforcement of the Act that Judge Andrew Napolitano has said would “gut Obamacare.” If passed into law, localities would be prohibited from recording IRS liens as a result of a failure to pay the Obamacare tax.

The state department of insurance form investigating or enforcing violations of federally mandated health insurance requirements. This will prove particularly problematic for the feds.  Insurance commissioners serve as the enforcement arm for insurance regulation in the states. Issues the state insurance commissioner would not address include prohibiting a denial of insurance for preexisting conditions, requiring dependent coverage for children up to age 26, and proscribing lifetime or yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits.

The federal government has no enforcement arm. It assumed the state insurance commissioners and departents would enforce all of the provisions of the ACA. So, when people have issues with their mandated coverage, they will have to call the feds. At this point, it remains unclear who they will even call should South Carolina pass this law banning this essential task.

“Disputes over these mandates arise under federal, not state law,” said Georgia State Rep. Jason Spencer, who sponsored a bill to take this step in 2013. “The federal Department of Health and Human Services can be expected to seek to commandeer the machinery of Georgia’s commissioner of insurance to enforce them or to investigate alleged violations because at present there is no federal health insurance agency and Congress is not likely to create one given the substantial opposition to Obamacare. Under HB707, the feds won’t be able to do that. They’ll have to figure out how to do it themselves.”

S.103 also makes it illegal for any government agent, be they local, state, or federal, from enforcing Obamacare. Anyone who does is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be sentenced to up to one year in prison or fined up to $1,000.

As such, S.103 would cripple the enforcement of Obamacare in South Carolina, according to TAC founder Michael Boldin.

“Even if they have to amend out the penalties for federal agents to get the bill passed, this bill would create significant problems for the ACA,” said Boldin.  “And should a number of states take a similar path, the federal act is doomed. Obamacare won’t exist without help from the states.”

Two previous bills were introduced in South Carolina in the previous legislative session and garnered national media attention. Backroom parliamentary moves by leadership in the state house and senate blocked the bill from getting to the Governor’s desk. But with long-time House Speaker Harrell indicted on ethics charges in September, the light will be shining on how things work in South Carolina, making the chance of passage better than last round.

S.103 has been assigned to the committee on Banking and Finance where it will need to pass before the full senate can consider it.


Other States:  Contact your state legislators today – urge them to introduce similar legislation.  Model bills and contact info HERE.

In South Carolina 

1. Call the Committee Chair, Robert Hayes, Jr. Strongly, but respectfully urge him to move this important bill forward to a vote in his committee. A phone call has 10x the impact of an email.
(803) 212-6240

2. Call the rest of the committee members. Again, be strong, but respectful. Urge each of them to take action to move the bill forward and vote YES on S103. If they do not commit to a YES vote, ask them why. If they’re undecided, let them know you’ll call back in a few days.


TJ Martinell

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