South Carolina Residents Rally Outside State House for Start of Legislative Session

6:25 PM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - State legislators met for the first day back in session on Tuesday, but outside South Carolinians were having some meetings of their own in the form of two separate rallies.

At the forefront of both rallies on either side of the capitol building was the issue of healthcare. One side argued for legislators to pass the Nullification Bill aimed at defunding the Affordable Care Act, while others fought for Medicaid Expansion under the ACA.

Many are concerned that the state will face a lawsuit if the Nullification Bill passes, but supporters say it's worth the risk.

"Lawsuit or no lawsuit, regardless of the response from Washington, we still have to press forward to stand for the constitution, stand for our freedoms," said Trevor Tiessen. "In 1776 they paid a lot bigger price for freedom than we are now, we can still deal with this at the legislative level."

Others, however, say the Supreme Court's decision that deemed the ACA constitutional shows it is necessary.

"For the government of this state to deny the people of this state healthcare, it's beyond me," said Sylvester Hudson.

Both sides were passionate in their arguments, with many rally-goers bringing handmade signs representing their beliefs. Many agree that voters were apathetic before the Affordable Care Act was implemented and say it's an issue that will continue to garner public input.

"I really think this is an issue that has raised the ire of folks that before weren't involved in politics, they really don't care, whether you call them a Republican, an Independent, a Democrat or whatever," said Payne. "They really see this as affecting their livelihood and they're angry."

"We're in it for the long haul, if you read that sign that says "Enough is Enough", that's just what it means," added Hudson. "Enough is enough, and we're going to make sure."

Rally-goers say they plan to monitor how the legislature proceeds, which will determine their next step.

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