House Bill 3101: Democrats and Some Republicans Critical
Although the bill passed the House by a vote of 65-39, many lawmakers of both parties have concerns about the Act. If the Senate passes the legislation, and Governor Haley signs it, this law will end up in court. Some legislators feel the bill was introduced just to make a point, and that the anticipated court action will not be successful.
Others are critical because of the offsetting tax credit that will be granted by the state for penalties incurred in not being insured under Obamacare. One of the great unknowns in the Affordable Care Act is what it will cost. The same is therefore true of the state tax credit. Since it is unknown how many South Carolinians will refuse to buy insurance and pay the federal penalties, there is no way to know how much the state will be on the hook for when it comes to tax credits: Tax credits have the same effect as giving taxpayers money.
Nothing in H. 3101 penalizes ordinary people or businesses who choose to purchase insurance on a federal exchange. The prohibition is aimed only at state agencies and employees who attempt to implement Obamacare. However, some say the law might discourage people from buying insurance on the exchange, which in some cases, could result in lower-cost health coverage.
Will Bill 3101 Become Law?
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley described Obamacare as massively expanding health care first, while deciding to worry about such things as quality and outcomes later. She also said the nine-dollar match (the federal government paying $9 dollars for every $1 paid by the state) is not helpful if South Carolina has difficulty coming up with the ‘one’. Haley also said she wants a health care system in her state that is designed by South Carolina, run by South Carolina, and one that operates in the best interest of South Carolinians. Does that mean Obamacare is doomed in South Carolina? Although Haley is opposed to the Affordable Care Act, it is far from certain she will sign the bill – even if it passes the Senate.
South Carolina General Assembly. H.3101. (2013). Accessed October 6, 2013.
The State. FULL TEXT: SC Gov. Nikki Haley State of the State Address. (2013). Accessed October 6, 2013.
The State. Obamacare nullification bill on SC Senate agenda. (2013). Accessed October 6, 2013.
Washington Times. South Carolina passes bill making ‘Obamacare’ implementation a crime. (2013). Accessed October 6, 2013.