The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa and Kawa Orthodontics of Boca Raton, Fla., challenging the Obama administration’s one-year delay in enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.
The complaint, filed in a federal court in Florida argues that the delay “exceeded [the Obama administration’s] statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law, and is otherwise unlawful,” according to Judicial Watch.
The employer mandate was scheduled by law to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014, along with the individual mandate, but on July 2, the Obama administration announced it was delaying it for a year. The complaint alleges:
“[Kawa Orthodontics] expended substantial time and resources, including money spent on legal fees and other costs, in preparation for the ‘employer mandate’ taking effect on January 1, 2014….[The company] would not have expended its time and resources and incurred these anticipatory costs in 2013 if the mandate had not been scheduled to take effect until 2015, but instead would have spent its time, resources, and money on other priorities.”
Kawa Orthodontics has over 70 full-time employees, making it subject to the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.
“If the law is to fail, let it fail now, not when it’s politically convenient for the president,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“The president wants to avoid the consequences of the law, and there are ways to do that legally, and that’s through having Congress repeal it or modify it,” he said. “He’s chosen not to do that and act as a one-man Congress.”
“He has no more power to do that than you or I,” Kawa said. “In fact, he has an affirmative duty to enforce the law, and we are here to make sure that he does that.”
“We obviously object to the employer mandate and the entire Obamacare law, but we understand that, under the U.S. Constitution, the law can only be changed by legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president. President Obama would delay the damage of his health care scheme until after the 2014 congressional elections. But politics do not trump the Constitution or the rule of law. And to paraphrase Ulysses S. Grant, the best way to ensure the repeal of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously.”
The lawsuit names as defendants the U.S. Department of Treasury, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, the Internal Revenue Service and IRS Acting Director Daniel Werfel.
”I am tired of Washington, DC, picking winners and losers and giving preferential treatment to those inside the Beltway,” said Kawa. “This is just more of DC career politicians protecting their own.”
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