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Gowdy, Graham Support Ability of States to Opt-Out of Obamacare

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Fourth District Congressman Trey Gowdy today pushed legislation which gives states the ability to "Opt-Out' of the major provisions of Obamacare.

The legislation, The State Health Care Choice Act, is sponsored in the Senate by Senators Graham, John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina). In the House of Representatives the legislation is sponsored by Congressman Gowdy and South Carolina Fifth District Congressman Mick Mulvaney.

"Our legislation gives the people of South Carolina a chance to have their say about Obamacare," said Graham. "Many Americans are tired of being run over by the Obamacare "we know best train.' If a state wants to stay in Obamacare, let them be our guest. But I think the overwhelming feeling is that South Carolinians want out."

"States are apparently allowed to opt out of immigration laws and drug laws, so why not the Affordable Care Act?" said Gowdy. "This is a law riddled with broken promises, and it's not working for South Carolina. If you like your health insurance, you can't keep it. If you like your doctor, you can't keep him or her either. And if you like your job, you may not be able to keep it, or your hours."

The State Health Care Choice Act will allow states to "opt-out' of the major mandates included in Obama health care. Among the mandates:

* Individual mandate -- requirement to buy government-approved health insurance coupled with financial penalty for not doing so.

* Employer mandate -- requirement for businesses to provide government-approved health insurance coupled with financial penalties for not doing so.

* Benefit mandates -- define what qualifies as a health plan as well as new federal requirements for regulating health insurance.

"Our bill would allow a state like South Carolina the option to opt-out of the ACA's mandates, while giving each state the flexibility to decide," said Gowdy. "We have heard from our constituents who are struggling under the ACA. We should give them the chance to get out from under the thumb of Washington and this unworkable law."

"The option to opt-out is long overdue," continued Graham. "People outside Washington need to have their say about Obamacare. They shouldn't be held hostage by this terrible legislation. Our opt-out legislation actually lives up to President Obama's famous promise that "if you like your health care you can keep it.' Mr. President, we don't like Obamacare and don't want to keep it. Allow us to opt-out."

Additional Statements

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley:

"If South Carolina could opt out of Obamacare, our economy and our health care would be far better off. I could not be more proud of our federal delegation for standing up against the Obamacare disaster."

United States Senator Tim Scott:

"Obamacare is bad for our families, bad for our workers, and bad for our economy. South Carolinians know that it's full of broken promises and want a new direction for our state. I believe there's a better way forward and this bill will let us put Obamacare behind us in favor of solutions that actually lower the cost of healthcare and let people keep their coverage."

South Carolina Fifth District Representative Mick Mulvaney:

"My colleagues and I have worked hard to repeal Obamacare over the past several years. We've been unsuccessful because the simple truth is Republicans only have one House. The Senate is not going to pass a bill that repeals Obamacare. We've been telling folks for years that this law is going to be a disaster, and our fears have come to fruition. The botched rollout of Obamacare was a tell-tell sign of what's to come for our healthcare. I've worked with Senator Graham and Congressman Gowdy on this bill that would allow states to do what's best for their own citizens, and choose whether to stay in Obamacare or opt out.

"If California wants Obamacare, that's okay. If South Carolina wants out of Obamacare, that's okay, too. Let's move the power away from the federal government and back to the states."

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