State rep seeks to criminalize PPACA implementation

President Obama signs PPACA. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) President Obama signs PPACA. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A lawmaker in the Southeast wants to go a step beyond trying to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).

South Carolina state Rep. William Chumley, R-Spartanburg, S.C., has prefiled a bill, H. 3101, that could make trying to implement PPACA in South Carolina a felony punishable by a fine and imprisonment.

H.R. 3101, the South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act bill, would "render and void certain unconstitutional laws enacted by the Congress of the United States," according to a bill summary accompanying the bill text.

PPACA is unconstitutional because of the provision requiring some individuals to buy health insurance, according to the bill summary.

The June Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of the provision imposing a tax on individuals who fail to buy health coverage is invalid because it re-characterized the provision as a tax, even though Congress refused to the identify the provision as a tax, according to the preamble to the bill.

The power the federal government has assumed through PPACA "interferes with the right of the people of the state of South Carolina to regulate health care as they see fit and makes a mockery of James Madison's assurance in Federalist Number 45 that the 'powers delegated' to the federal government are 'few and defined,' while those of the states are 'numerous and indefinite,'" according to the preamble.

The H. 3101 penalties would apply to an "official, agent, or employee of the United States government or an employee of a corporation providing services to the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this article."

The penalties also would apply to "a public officer or employee of the state of South Carolina who enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this article."

Federal government officials and representatives could face up to five years in prison and fines up to $5,000 for trying to implement PPACA.

State government officials and representatives would face up to two years in prison and fines of up to $1,000.

A state resident would have a right to go to court to sue federal or state officials or government representatives over those individuals' efforts to implement PPACA.

The bill would take effect immediately after it was signed. 

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