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Shot: Obamacare gets tangled in Hatfield-McCoy feud

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Obamacare,West Virginia,2014 Elections,Campaigns,House Republicans

The leader of the feuding Hatfield family, who fears Obamacare will bankrupt the medical careers of his three children, is jumping into politics to help a West Virginia pharmacist win an open House seat to join the GOP effort to torpedo the president's trademark program.

“They’re going to be put of business,” Mark Hatfield said of three children: a pediatrician, a dentist and a pharmacist. “Obama’s destroyed health care,” he told Secrets.

Hatfield is surviving face of the 1800s Hatfield & McCoy feud and the most famous surrogate for Ken Reed, a center-right candidate from Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Reed is one of seven Republicans running to replace Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is running for the Senate.

Reed, who owns a handful small town of pharmacies with his wife, got into the race because he fears Obamacare and other federal regulations will put many small businesses and doctors out of business as insurance companies favor larger operations.

“This is no fun,” he said of campaigning. “I just wanted people to leave me alone.”

But as he’s campaigned through the sprawling Second District, he’s found people angry at Washington and eager for a non-politician to go to Washington.

That approach won Hatfield over. “He's not a politician, he's a concerned citizen who decided to get involved. I think he would go there and stand up and speak his peace,” said Hatfield, who has been promoting Reed on his popular Facebook page and in community meetings.

“It's time for a change. The people really are angry,” said Hatfield, whose 1863-1891 family feud was recently made into a TV mini-series starring Kevin Costner as family patriarch "Devil" Anse Hatfield.

Hatfield is a member in the legendary Hatfield and McCoy family brands who has a distillery in Williamson, WV. He also owns a winery called The Sweeter Side of the Feud and a mini-distillery called the Original Hatfield Family Recipes both located in Spencer, WV.

Reed said he is so worried about Obamacare that he will advise this four young children to steer clear of the medical business. “We’ve stopped practicing medicine and now we’re third-party administrators,” he said of the wave of paperwork now required to fulfill insurance claims.

He is also running against the surge in regulations from agencies like the EPA, ATF, IRS and DEA, which he called “three letter bullies.”

To fix that, he is proposing a “Regulatory Bill of Rights” for Americans against overregulation. “The overreach of government is permeating every business I go in,” he told Secrets.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.