Fla. Orthodontist Appeals in ACA Employer Mandate Delay Lawsuit

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 03:56 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Attorneys for a Florida orthodontist who is challenging the Obama administration's decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate have filed an appeal with a federal appellate court to continue the case.

The original lawsuit was filed in October by Judicial Watch on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa, owner of Boca Raton-based Kawa Orthodontics. It argued that President Barack Obama's unilateral decision to delay the employer mandate by one year was a violation of the Constitution and outside the scope of his authority.

A lower court has ruled against Kawa, so attorneys have filed a notice of appeal with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

"Kawa Orthodontics continues its challenge to Obama's rewrite of Obamacare because the court is so plainly wrong," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, said. "If President Obama truly wants to fix Obamacare, he will have to go through Congress. He may 'have a pen,' but he ought to use it to sign a repeal of his law that had been passed by Congress."

The organization has in the past likened the president's decision to a "power grab." It argues that Kawa had gone to considerable expense preparing for the mandate, and estimates he has forgone $1.2 million in new revenue because of diverting about 100 hours of time preparing for the law to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

"My company's lawsuit, incredibly, remains the only legal challenge to President Obama's rogue rewriting of Obamacare," said Dr. Larry Kawa, owner of Kawa Orthodontics LLP.

"This single lawsuit could do more to reign [sic] in Obama's lawless actions than anything going to Congress right now. We expect the courts will ultimately rule in our favor and remind this president that he is not above the law."

The employer mandate, which subjects certain large employers to tax penalties if they do not offer "affordable, minimum essential" health insurance coverage to their employees, has been considered a major pillar of the Affordable Care Act.

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