If state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, has his way, S.C. will reject the federal Affordable Care Act. He addressed on Tuesday a few hundred gathered at a rally calling for lawmakers to nullify the federal law. Davis spoke ahead of plans to offer this week an amendment to a bill before the Senate that would ban the ACA, dubbed Obamacare.
Davis’ amendment prevents the state from taking federal dollars that would expand Medicaid or help people sign up for insurance on the federal insurance marketplace. “We have to stop taking that money,” he told the crowd. Davis touted a four-pronged approach to defeating the federal mandate—don’t comply by refusing to fund the implementation of the law, stop taking federal dollars tied to implementation, don’t expand Medicaid, say no to the health care exchanges.
Davis referred to the federal law as Obamacare, he said, because it’s his and because the president himself calls the law by that name. He said he wouldn’t refer the legislation as Affordable Care Act, comparing the name to Orwellian Newspeak, totalitarian language in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” “It bankrupts our state,” said Davis.
Jesse Graston, a field coordinator for the John Birch Society, a conservative advocacy group, said before the crowd, “We are awake.” Gone are the days in which lawmakers pass bills with no one watching, he said.
Referring to a group gathering after the event at a counter-protest, Graston said the two groups really want the same thing—affordable, quality health care, but after that, the two groups part ways. Graston advocated following Jesus’ example in not stealing from his disciples to give to others, but in giving of himself. Charitable giving is one of the remedies, said Graston.
As lawmakers in both chambers reconvened for the year the other group rallied to push them to expand Medicaid, prioritize education funding, and make elections more inclusive.