Laurens Representative Jeff Duncan had his day in subcommittee Thursday to defend his bill to assert a state’s right to refuse to follow the new national health care law. When the bill was slated Wednesday to come before a Judiciary subgroup on Thursday, he called on a contingent of Tea Party supporters throughout the state. By 9:00 a.m., the committee room was packed.
Anderson County Tea Party leader Jonathan Hill says he was excited to be at his first subcommittee meeting and to be “part of the process.” He reached fellow activists across the state mainly by email, sending out maps and legislative background. “Our reason for being is first of all to educate people who are waking up to what’s going on and look around and don’t like what they are seeing. A free republic can only survive with an educated populace.”
In spite of Hill’s quiet demeanor, there were people who were impatient with the process, prompting this interchange between Republican Jim Harrison and a witness who demanded that the panel skip the testimony and take a vote:
(Harrison and Tea Party witness MP3 :45)
Harrison interchange with Tea Party speaker MP3
A speaker from the Columbia Tea Party warned legislators to “do the right thing.”
Sue Berkowitz of the Appleseed Legal Justice Center was the only speaker against this proposed amendment to the state’s constitution. She says there are too many uninsured in the state. “There are more than a million South Carolinians who cannot afford not to have coverage, ” she says. “In South Carolina we have 15 percent of our state who live at poverty or below, 20 percent of our children. Over 900,ooo who are uninsured. In fact we do have a history of health care in South Carolina being covered by the government. Those patriotic men and women who are in the military, they get their coverage through TRICARE.”