Aiken resident and business owner Mike Stake denounced Obamacare during a Nov. 6 hearing at the S.C. Statehouse in Columbia.
The hearing was one of three this week across the state that discussed a potential nullification bill to the Affordable Care Act in South Carolina.
Stake explained his views on Obamacare to the Aiken Standard.
“I approached Obamacare and the nullification from a constitutional and business perspective,” Stake said. “I am asking for interposition. A state interposes by standing between the people and the enforcement of an unconstitutional law.”
Stake's position on the subject comes from his experience as a business owner. He owns a sedan service business in Colorado and, locally, he owns Carpe Vita, a health and wellness company.
He said the legislation is forcing businesses to cut employees' hours to keep them from qualifying for the mandatory health benefit requirement mandated by the new law. Because of this, he said he has not been able to hire new employees or expand his businesses.
“This does not benefit the employee nor the business, but becomes a survival mechanism for small businesses looking to survive,” he said. “Look at all the empty storefronts around Aiken. Businesses are having a difficult time surviving in the economy as it is.”
Several state legislatures have also shared their views on the issue.
S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, is in favor of minimizing the impact of Obamacare.
“Many people are anxious about Obamacare's impact on our economy. The Senate committee is exploring constitutional ways to lessen that impact,” Young said. “I support minimizing the impact because that will mean saving jobs in our state.”
S.C. Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken, said he is in favor of Obamacare but does have some concerns.
“I want to see everybody with health care, so I am in favor of universal health care,” Clyburn said. “I do have some concerns on how it's going to be funded; but I am in favor of it, especially for South Carolina.”
The Senate Select Committee will give its report to fellow senators in January. The bill will likely be one of the first topics senators take up when they go back into session.
Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard news team and joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a journalism degree in May 2012.