States Move to Nullify ObamaCare

Americans were told they would love ObamaCare once they read it, but that’s far from the reaction that Democrats (who pushed the law through over solid Republican opposition) are getting. Even former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is aggressively back peddling on this legislative failure. The national outcry against ObamaCare is just beginning as concerned citizens fight to stop the government health care takeover on all fronts. This grassroots pressure has in turn led state legislatures turn up the heat. 

To date, thanks to grassroots advocacy by groups like FreedomWorks’ BlockExchanges Campaign, 34 states have declined to set up an ObamaCare exchange.

Legislators in South Carolina, Ohio, and Kansas have decided do more than that. They’re working to take on Washington and to fortify their defenses against Washington’s next wave of encroachment. 

South Carolina

South Carolina’s Bill HB 3101 would criminalize the enforcement of certain key provisions of ObamaCare in the Palmetto State.  While the bill is sure to be challenged by the Federal Government under the federal Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, the bill still offers a great opportunity for a test case, and FreedomWorks is proud to support it. 

The bill would shield SC residents from the burden of the ObamaCare compliance penalty by issuing SC residents a tax break (on state taxes) of that amount every year that the IRS tries to tax SC residents into compliance. 

The law also gives the SC Attorney General the authority to stop Federal exchanges from being set up and administered in the state. This section of the law is vital; it’s not enough for the states to refuse to set up an exchange.  If the states reject exchanges, the federal government will merely set up its own exchange in the state. Although the legal status of “federal” exchanges is being contested in court, it’s important for states to find effective ways to stop the federal exchange within their borders. To do this, the SC legislature has authorized the state AG to “bring an action in the name of the State against such person or entity causing the harm to restrain by temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction the use of such method, act, or practice.” 

The SC legislation has been tabled till next session.  Again, FreedomWorks supports this legislation and urges South Carolinians to help us get it passed.


Meanwhile, a similar measure is being pursued in Ohio. Ohio’s bill HB 91 prohibits insurers from paying into federal ObamaCare exchanges, under pain of license forfeiture. It also empowers the state AG to issue injunction to recalcitrant insurance companies.


Unfortunately, Kansas’s effort to have a referendum on a constitutional amendment ensuring health care choice has stalled.  But I mention it here, in hopes that other states will be inspired to try the same approach.


Local activists led by constitutional conservative Glenn Gallas are gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to repeal the new law establishing a state exchange (and expanding Medicaid) in Arkansas. FreedomWorks is assisting in the effort by providing training and other resources.


If you reside in any of the foregoing states, please get involved and take action. Let your legislators know (often) that you fully support nullifying ObamaCare. 

Addendum: Constitutional Justification 

State-level efforts to nullify ObamaCare derive their authority and purpose directly from the U.S. Constitution. ObamaCare is unconstitutional, despite what the Roberts Court has said about it. The imposition of a massive health care takeover by the federal government simply cannot be reconciled with the enumerated purposes of the federal government. James Madison, in Federalist #45 summarized the meaning of the enumerated powers clause, saying the federal government has “few and defined” powers while the powers of the states are “numerous and indefinite”. 

The president’s health care law was explicitly upheld by the Roberts Court as an exercise of Congress’s power to tax. This interpretation flies in the face of the same Court’s ruling that Congress has no power to operate a mandatory national health insurance program under the Commerce Clause, and also disregards explicit congressional (and presidential) statements that the mandate penalty is most emphatically not a tax. Because the explicit intent of the legislative branch was thwarted in order to contort the law into legality, the Court basically disregarded the Article 1 Sec 1 provision that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” The Justices legislated from the bench.

As Senator Rand Paul has said, “Just because a couple of people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional.”

And even supposing, for the sake of argument, that the Supreme Court ruled correctly on ObamaCare, that doesn’t make the law good or necessary.  Again, Senator Paul: “While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right.”

Conforming to imperious mandates from an out-of-touch elite in a far-distant capital smacks more of the George III model of governance than what befits a Constitutional Republic. The states are legally and morally right in their efforts to nullify ObamaCare.

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