South Carolina Lawmakers Attempt to Stop Implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Their State

Category: Personal Insurance

South Carolina lawmakers are working on a bill to prohibit implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the state. The South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act (H3101) would prohibit state employees from participating in the health insurance marketplace, and would reimburse residents who face an IRS penalty for not complying with the ACA’s individual mandate.

The legislation would also give South Carolina oversight of insurance rates offered through its federal exchange and require health care navigators (people who help individuals sign up for insurance) to be licensed by the state.

The framers of the bill ultimately want to prevent state money from being spent on implementation of the bill. They cite the “anti-commandeering doctrine,” which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1997 and says that the federal government cannot direct states to use their own funding to carry out federal laws.

The bill passed in the South Carolina House in 2013, and debate continues in the Senate as of March 5, 2014. Governor Nikki Haley has opposed the ACA from the start, and is therefore expected to sign the bill should it pass.

The outcome of the legislation is of great interest to other states that are looking to block or greatly impede the implementation of Obamacare in their states. Most expect legal challenges from opponents, leaving the issue largely unsettled regardless of the outcome of the vote. Stay tuned.

A Note on the South Carolina Health Insurance Marketplace

South Carolina currently has a federally-run health insurance marketplace. Four companies are offering health insurance through the marketplace today: Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Blue Choice Health Plan, Consumers’ Choice Health Plan and Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas. 52 options with varying premiums and deductibles are available in the state, with insurers and options varying by county.

Now more than ever it is important to have a knowledgeable resource to help you navigate the ever-changing health care landscape. Don’t go it alone. Talk to one of our agents today!

Source: Reuters, www.healthinsurance.org, www.foxbusinsess.com

 

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