Florida Orthodontist Requests Decision in Obamacare Lawsuit

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 03:41 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Attorneys for a Florida orthodontist who is challenging the Obama administration's decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate for a year have filed a motion for a summary judgment in hopes of prompting an immediate decision in the matter.

The original lawsuit was filed by Judicial Watch on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa, owner of Boca Raton-based Kawa Orthodontics, on Oct. 1, the first day the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, went online.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Newsmax on Monday that the president's decision to "rewrite" Obamacare and extend the deadline is continuing to harm Kawa's business.

"Simply put, the president's unconstitutional power grab should be stopped by the courts as quickly as possible," said Fitton.

The lawsuit, which names the U.S. Department of Treasury, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, the Internal Revenue Service, and IRS Director Daniel Werfel, is still pending in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida.

Last week, the IRS filed a 17-page motion to dismiss the case, Legal Newsline reports.

The IRS says Kawa has "suffered no harm whatsoever" as a result of the delay, and doesn't show any future losses. Further, the IRS says, any time or money Kawa has spent has already occurred "and cannot be redressed by the federal court."

But Judicial Watch and Kawa oppose the IRS motion to dismiss, instead choosing to file paperwork for a summary judgment, saying Kawa's business has been harmed by losing "the substantial time and resources it expended and the significant opportunity costs it incurred in anticipation" of the mandate.

A summary judgment is a procedure often used during civil litigation to dispose of a case promptly without holding a trial, and is often used when the material facts of a case are not being disputed.

The employer mandate was to have taken effect on Jan. 1, but the Obama administration postponed it until 2015 without the approval of Congress.

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, is considered a major part of the Obamacare plan.

Kawa said Monday that he is "fed up" with Washington "dictating our futures and playing politics with the law of the land."

Further, Kawa said, "this is just one more example of D.C.'s career politicians thinking more about the next election than the next generation. President Obama isn't above the law."

Judicial Watch says the Obama administration's action is "capricious" and calls for the courts to reinstate the mandate deadline established by Congress and "enjoin any further unauthorized delay" of the mandate's deadline.

Kawa said Monday that the administration's refusal to obey its own law is not just hurting him, but causing pain "all over the homeland."

"Transparency and rule of law shouldn't just be terms in government class textbooks; they should be principles that are followed in government offices," Kawa said.

Related Stories:

Christopher Ruddy: Don't Delay Obamacare
Florida Orthodontist: Obama Thinks He's 'Congress of 1'

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