State Reps. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs) and Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock), along with two other representatives, plan to co-sponsor a bill in the 2014 legislative session, which would prohibit state agencies from taking part in implementing the controversial health care law.
“The primary goal ... is to establish a policy of non-compliance with Obamacare,” Turner said Monday, following a press conference at the state Capitol announcing the Health Care Freedom and ACA Non-Compliance Act. “In America, we’re promised that we’re free to live a life of liberty, and Obamacare flies in the face of that. It establishes a tax on simply being alive.”
The representatives will also be calling for Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens to join a lawsuit to overturn the Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate within the health care law and classified it as a tax. The lawsuit alleges that if the individual mandate is a tax, it originated in the wrong chamber of the U.S. Congress, according to Turner.
Caldwell said although the proposed bill alone won’t change the status of the Affordable Care Act as law in Georgia, it could help.
“If we can get sister states to adopt similar measures, then it does cause it to topple in on itself,” Caldwell said Monday afternoon, citing comparable legislation being discussed in South Carolina. “It’s a sound legal step utilizing non-compliance and legal precedents set by Supreme Court cases for 100 years now that the federal government is not able to commandeer state resources to use for their purposes.”
Because the “failed implementation” of the Affordable Care Act so far, Turner said the federal government needs state agencies to help usher the law into full effect.
“Without the state’s help, the federal government does not have the infrastructure or capacity to get the job done,” Turner said.
Caldwell said part of what spurred him and the others for the bill was a petition to nullify the Affordable Care Act, which is being circulated by Georgians for Healthcare Freedom, a group headed by Carolyn Cosby, who also chairs the Canton T.E.A. Party.
Cosby said in a Monday news release her group had tens of thousands of petition signatures and she supported the efforts made by the proposed bill.
“The sheer volume of over 34,000 signers demands legislative action,” Cosby said. “This is what the people want.”
For some in Cherokee County, though, the proposed bill is little more than a Republican initiative against the Affordable Care Act, simply because it came from a Democratic administration.
“By 2016, the ACA will be established, respected and very popular,” said Sue MacFarland, secretary of the Cherokee County Democratic Party. “Understandably, Republicans can’t stand it. They are fast becoming the party that opposes any kind of progress and proposes absolutely nothing that would benefit average American citizens.”
But Turner said he is against Obamacare for other reasons.
“What is it taxing?” he asked. “There is no transaction, so it’s not a sales tax. There’s no productivity, so it’s not an income tax. What is it taxing exactly? It’s taxing you for simply being a citizen and living here in the United States.”
Turner said there are “plenty of Republican” proposals that could replace the Affordable Care Act, but as long as it’s in place, that “debate” can’t happen.