Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Kawa | Obamacare | florida | doctor

Fla. Orthodontist Takes on Obamacare

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Monday, 21 Oct 2013 09:03 AM Current | Bio | Archive

If John McCain had been as tough on Barack Obama in 2008 as he was on some of his fellow Republicans during the just-ended debt ceiling/shutdown crisis, he could have been president.

As usual, Democrats presented a united front behind an avalanche of incendiary rhetoric and divided Republicans could not their act together on Obamacare or anything else.

While Republicans in Washington were setting up circular firing squads of defeat scrambling for a strategy to defund or weaken Obamacare, Dr. Larry Kawa, a South Florida orthodontist, took direct aim at Obamacare on his own.

Kawa, a major GOP donor, filed suit in federal court against the Obama administration alleging that delaying Obamacare’s employee mandate until 2015 was “arbitrary, capricious and contrary to the law.”

Kawa’s suit was filed on his behalf by Judicial Watch against Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, and the IRS.

It asks the court to enter a declaratory judgment stating that the delay of the employer mandate violated the Administrative Procedure Act and to permanently prohibit and set aside the “unlawful delay of the employer mandate.”

So why is Kawa so upset?

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers such as Kawa with more than 50 full-time employees were required to provide health insurance coverage to their employees or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee.

As stated in his suit, Kawa expended “substantial time and resources, including money spent on legal fees and other costs” preparing for the employer mandate slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

Then, in July, the Obama administration announced that the mandate was being delayed until 2015.

The lawsuit is not the first effort Kawa has made to seek fairness and justice in the implementation of Obamacare. Prior to filing his lawsuit, he sent Freedom of Information Act requests to the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, and the White House asking under what document or authority the president was granted the power to amend or change a law on his own volition apart from the will of Congress.

The HHS’ response to Kawa was that his request was “outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act” since he did not ask for “actual records which they had or could retrieve.” As Kawa told me, “you mean they could not retrieve a copy of the Constitution which gave the president no such authority?”

The White House response came in the form of a “Dear Friend” email signed “Sincerely, Barack Obama” praising the Affordable Care Act telling Kawa: “if you are one of the nearly 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, you do not have to do anything. This law will only make your health plan more secure and more affordable.”

Kawa is under no illusions as to why the Obama administration moved the employer mandate — politics. As he recently told Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg: “Just because the law is named after him does not empower him to pick and choose which parts of the law he is going to enforce for political purposes.”

So why he is suing against his own economic best interests to bring back the original mandate effective date?
His answer: “I am not in favor of Obamacare, but it is the law of the land and I respect the law. I just wish the president would do the same.”

When I told him that the business community has not complained since the delay is to its benefit, he said that “their silence is an implied endorsement of this illegal maneuver.”

The major media has not really publicized that the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the delay in the employer mandate by one year will cost the federal government about $12 billion in lost tax revenue and other costs over the next 10 years with the bulk — $10 billion — from penalties that some employers would have had to pay for violating the mandate.

Kawa’s response: “Obama is in bed with big business and is giving them a $10 billion tax break on the backs of the middle class.”

When I asked him to sum up his reasons and philosophy for filing the suit he said: "The president took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution. Who would have thought that we needed to be protected from him? If he wants to attack the constitution, he has to come through millions of patriots like me.”

Sen. McCain and many of his cohorts in the Republican establishment should follow Kawa’s lead and act on principle rather than political expediency.

Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as the Reagan presidential campaigns and has appeared on many national and local media outlets.
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A Florida orthodontist, Dr. Larry Kawa, is tackling Obamacare issues.
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Monday, 21 Oct 2013 09:03 AM
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