News 12 at First at Five / Friday, June 29, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- "It was, on its face, a victory for the administration, but what a lot of people aren't talking about, and what time will slowly reveal, is that the Supreme Court actually did what we asked them to do," said South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Attorney General Wilson and former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster don't see the Supreme Court's landmark decision as a defeat.
"The Supreme Court curbed the power that the Congress was seeking to reach for itself under the Commerce Clause," Wilson said.
In an exclusive interview, Wilson said the court actually slapped President Barack Obama on the wrist. The court ruled "Obamacare" would be unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. It's a clause regulating financial interaction between the states. Instead, the court said the mandate to require all Americans to have health insurance was constitutional as a tax.
"The ability to tax originates in the House of Representatives. What the court effectively did in its majority is they imposed a tax through judicial implementation. They rewrote the law," Wilson said.
It's a tax, he says, most voters would have rejected, and it's a tax that was never mentioned during debate before the bill was passed. The Supreme Court also ruled it unconstitutional for Congress to force the states to expand Medicaid. McMaster says an expansion is practically impossible.
"It'd be impossible. We don't have the money to pay even the state's share. We barely can pay the money that we have," McMaster told News 12.
Wilson says he's prepared to work with Gov. Nikki Haley to possibly opt out.
"The court did not defend the policy of 'Obamacare' and the politics of 'Obamacare.' The court just merely said that Congress can tax us to fund it," he said.
Wilson says there are two options now. The legislature can try to repeal it, which could be tough right now, or they can wait until November in hopes that Mitt Romney will be elected and Republicans will gain control of the U.S. Senate, too.