South Carolina lawmakers passed a bill criminalizing implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last year.
The bill, which the state House approved Wednesday by a vote of 65-39, declares the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “null and void.” If passed by the state Senate and signed by Gov. Nikki Haley, the law will be called the Freedom of Health Care Protection Act.
Supporters of the bill say that the U.S. Supreme Court erred in upholding a key provision of the health care law that imposes penalties on eligible citizens who choose not to purchase health insurance.
The minimum-coverage provision, more popularly known as the individual mandate, is set to take effect in 2014. It empowers the Internal Revenue Service to collect the penalty with an individual’s taxes, just as it would collect a penalty against those who overstate their income tax refunds.
A section of the South Carolina bill, which had 27 co-sponsors, states that the Supreme Court’s endorsement of health care reform’s constitutionality “directly contravenes Article 1, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.”
More: Courthouse News Service