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Another day, another gem of innovative legislation from Republicans in West Virginia:


In another salvo against the federal Affordable Care Act, some Republicans in West Virginia’s House of Delegates want to make it a crime for state and federal officials to enforce the health-care law.

Under the GOP-backed bill (HB2309), federal employees would face felony charges, while state workers would be arrested for a misdemeanor offense, if they try to administer any federal regulations under the Affordable Care Act. The legislation also declares the federal health-care law “invalid” in West Virginia. [...]

Under the bill, federal and state officials who implement the Affordable Care Act in West Virginia could be sentenced and imprisoned for a year or more. Fines range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Sigh, groan, face palm, other expressions of ARGGGGHHHHH! Didn't we already cover why you cannot actually do that, back in October when we learned that then-senatorial candidate and pig ball-slicer extraordinaire Joni Ernst (R-Good Job, Iowa!) said "Hells yeah, squeeee!" in response to a survey asking if she'd "support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?" Actually, no, we did not explain -- we just laughed at how prima facie stupid an idea that is, let's do that again, shall we?

We are not sure exactly how this is supposed to work. Maybe the local po-po will raid some call centers and round up all the people answering the phones to help people with questions like "Can I have the plan that allows me to death panel my grandma?"

We never did get an answer from Ernst on how that would work, or from other states who've flirted with similar bills, like South Carolina and Texas and Georgia. Hey, you guys arrest anyone for doing Obamacare yet? No? We didn't think so.

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It appears the Republican delegates sponsoring the bill in West Virginia, most of whom are tea partiers BIG SURPRISE, haven't worked out all the kinks either.

In response to questions by House Democrats, the committee’s lawyer acknowledged it would be difficult — and possibly unconstitutional — to prosecute state and federal workers who administered ACA regulations.

YA THINK? The attorney also noted that West Virginia deciding all on its own to criminalize Obamacare might also jeopardize access to health care for many of the state's citizens, but puh-lease, like Republicans even give a crap about that, especially in West Virginia, where the House of Delegates approved a bill earlier this month to ban abortion at 20 weeks, which also denies health care to citizens, but just the lady kind, and it is also unconstitutional, oh well.

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Republican state Rep. Joe Ellington, chairman of the House Health and Human Resources Committee and a doctor -- so you'd think he'd support citizens having health care, but maybe not because he's refused to say whether he supports the bill -- abruptly hit the pause button on the committee's hearing Tuesday after that whole awkward "you can't actually do that" lawsplaining.

"This bill is just another overreach by an extreme fringe unable to accept the success of the ACA," Democratic Del. Nancy Guthrie told Wonkette (EXCLUSIVE, MUST CREDIT WONKETTE!!!). "I hope it is buried alive at this point, never to see the light of day."

Here's hoping, but then, we are talking about West Virginia, where even "Democrats" there have a real problem with people having health care for some reason (because West Virginia Democrats are mostly terrible, that's the reason), so we are not holding our breaths.

[Charleston Gazette]

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