(NaturalNews) More and more states are beginning to challenge the Obama Administration over what they view as unconstitutional abuses of power, especially regarding firearms and health care. The latest example comes from South Carolina, whose legislature has passed a measure declaring Obamacare to be "null and void" and criminalizing its implementation.
Lawmakers in the House passed the Freedom of Health Care Protection Act by a vote of 65-39, which seeks to "prohibit certain individuals from enforcing or attempting to enforce such unconstitutional laws; and to establish criminal penalties and civil liability for violating this article."
According to reports, the measure would permit the state attorney general, with reasonable cause, "to restrain by temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction" anyone who is believed to be causing harm to any state resident or business through implementation of the Obamacare law.
'Not now, not ever'
House members appear to be following the lead of Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, who declared in her State of the State Address earlier this year that South Carolina neither wants nor can afford President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment, "not now, not ever."
"To that end, we will not pursue the type of government-run health exchanges being forced on us by Washington," she said. "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."
The measure moved to the state Senate May 2 and has been referred to the Committee on Finance, the Washington Times reported.
Obamacare has been declared constitutional by creative fiat, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the law's individual mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance (the first ruling of its kind requiring citizens to engage in commerce). Parts of the law are still in court, however, such as challenges to the law's mandated coverage of contraceptives.
'Not in South Carolina'
In March, Haley - during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference - said she does not support the law's expansion of Medicaid coverage to low-income Americans; the nation's highest court, in the same ruling, found that Congress did not have the authority to mandate that states expand the benefit program.
"Not in South Carolina," she said. "We will not expand Medicaid on President Obama's watch. We will not expand Medicaid ever."
Other sections of the law are already showing signs of weakness or fraying:
• The insurance exchanges called for in the law are not ready. "The Obama Administration now says a special system of exchanges designed to make it easier for small businesses to provide insurance will be delayed an entire year - to 2015," Fox News has reported. The exchanges were supposed to be up and running when the law fully took effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
"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," Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told Fox News in April. "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.'"
• Even the bill's authors lack confidence. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of Obamacare's principal authors, has told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose department will oversee major portions of Obamacare implementation, "I just see a huge train wreck coming down." Baucus is up for reelection in 2014; the six-term senator's approval ratings tanked following his involvement in, and unwavering support for, Obamacare, The Associated Press has reported.
• The law is already affecting employers and employment - negatively. For months employers have been voicing concerns that they won't be able to afford the law's requirements for employee health care coverage. In fact, many say they are considering busting full-timers down to part-time status in order to avoid the requirement to insure full-time workers (http://www.huffingtonpost.com).