By Joshua Cook
A bill being fast-tracked by the South Carolina Senate would nullify Obamacare, and it’s likely that this bill will open the flood gates for other states dissatisfied with the Affordable Care Act.
The bill, entitled “South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act” (H.3101), was voted on and passed by a 65-34 vote in the state House of Representatives last April. Now, it moves on to the Republican-controlled state Senate with a priority flag and could quickly be signed into law by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
According to the Daily Caller, state Sen. Tom Davis, the bill’s sponsor who recently wrapped up study committee hearings for the bill in Columbia, Charleston and other cities, says that the proposed legislation renders the Affordable Care Act void or inoperable through a handful of provisions.
The bill’s main component prohibits agencies, officers and employees of the state of South Carolina from implementing any provisions of the Affordable Care Act, leaving implementation of the national health-care law entirely in the hands of a federal government that lacks the resources or personnel to carry out the programs it mandates, reported the Daily Caller.
The basis of the bill is an anti-commandeering doctrine, meaning that the federal government can’t force the states to carry out federal laws.
“Congress can pass laws, but it cannot compel the states to utilize either their treasury or personnel to implement those federal laws,” explained state Sen. Davis.
Davis said that South Carolina is considering two additional provisions to the bill. One would outlaw Medicaid expansion and the other would suspend the licenses of insurers who receive Affordable Care Act subsidies.
Jesse Graston, one of the grassroots activists who helped Rep. Bill Chumley get H.3101 passed this year, said, “I’m working with legislators from Tennessee and Oklahoma on their bills, and it is very likely they will be able to pass their bills right after we push ours through. Simple non-compliance by our state, as well as other states, to enforce Obamacare, will kill it. The feds cannot do Obamacare by themselves…”
I asked Mike Maharrey from the Tenth Amendment Center, about state senator Tom Davis’ bill.
Cook: ”Is the anti-commandeering doctrine found in Davis’ bill a form of nullification?”
Maharrey: “Anti-commandeering is simply the legal doctrine holding that the feds cannot force the states to enforce or implement their acts or programs. Non-cooperation is one tactic to nullify an act, or as Madison put it “refusal to cooperate with officers of the union.”
“Nullification is an end result – making an unconstitutional act inoperable within the state. So yes – non-cooperation, which happens to have legal sanction under the anti-commandeering doctrine, is a path to nullification.”
“Think of it this way – if a state passes a law criminalizing federal agents, and nothing happens, is that nullification? On the other hand, if a state passes a law stopping enforcement of federal acts, and those federal acts stay on the books, but stop being enforced – is that nullification?”
“Call it what you want, we’ll consider it nullified.”
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