Florida Orthodontist Braces for Oral Arguments in Obamacare Lawsuit

By: William Patrick FloridaWatchdog.org | Posted: July 19, 2014 3:55 AM
Larry Kawa

Larry Kawa

Dr. Larry Kawa is about as far removed from the federal governing structure as any private citizen. But the Boca Raton orthodontist does have something in common with the U.S. House of Representatives.

Both see the Obama administration’s unilateral delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate as an abuse of executive power.

But while the Republican-led House weighs the efficacy of a push-back lawsuit against President Obama, Kawa has been duking it out in federal court for nearly a year.

His efforts seem to be paying off.

On Wednesday, the same day a House rules committee held a hearing on Capitol Hill about a proposed separation of powers lawsuit, a federal appeals court in Atlanta agreed to hear oral arguments in Kawa’s case.

The decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a sign his legal challenge is being taken seriously, Kawa’s lawyers say. His case was dismissed by a lower court earlier this year for lack of standing, or the ability to show an actual injury.

A Florida judge ruled that because the employer mandate was delayed, and not canceled, the compliance costs Kawa incurred in preparing his business to meet the requirements of the mandate did not amount to an unlawful taking -- even if he may have wasted significant resources. The same mandate would apply just one year later, the judge’s reasoning went.

Two things have changed since then. A federal court in Texas granted standing to Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of Hotze Health and Wellness Center. Hotze is also suing the administration on somewhat similar grounds. Plus, the Obama administration delayed the employer mandate for another year, now scheduled to affect Kawa Orthodontics in 2016.

Kawa said he’s likely to spend significant resources in anticipation of the mandate again.

In March 2013, Kawa spent $5,000 on legal fees and an additional 100 hours learning about the law, including meetings with insurance agents and his accountant.

“Delayed is the wrong word. The mandate was canceled for two years,” Kawa told Watchdog.org.

“The crux of our case is that the president has substituted his policy judgment for the policy judgment of Congress,” he said.

In other words, the employer mandate was expressly written into the health law and supposed to take effect Jan. 1. For their own reasons, the administration delayed it -- a potential material change of an act of Congress.

Judicial Watch, a conservative legal foundation, is representing Kawa.

“We are pleased that the court granted oral argument in the case,” said Tom Fitton, the organization’s president. “Judicial Watch has been entrusted with representing a courageous and well-respected Florida orthodontist, Dr. Larry Kawa and his practice, Kawa Orthodontics, is standing up to this unconstitutional presidential overreach.”

Kawa Orthodontics Inc. is considered a large employer under the ACA because it employs over 50 full-time equivalent workers. That’s enough to levy $2,000 to $3,000 in penalties per worker if the business fails to meet the requirements of the health law.

Kawa told Watchdog.org he strongly supports the proposed House lawsuit. A vote to proceed is expected later this month.

Kawa said he doesn’t mix politics with his patients, but has received angry emails calling him an “obstructionist.”

“I live in Boca Raton. It’s a small town and it’s unavoidable,” he said.

Kawa says he’s trying to hold the government accountable to its own laws.

William Patrick covers government waste, fraud and abuse for Watchdog.org's Florida bureau. His work has appeared on numerous media websites, including Fox News and the Drudge Report. w

Tags: News, Politics

Comments (5)

6:23PM JUL 21ST 2014
You forgot BENGHAZI! and ACORN! and The New Black Panthers.
No need to thank me.
Walter Compton
6:27PM JUL 20TH 2014
That's what the courts are for. They need to define the limits, if any, on how far the executive branch can go in altering and/or interpreting the laws passed by congress.
I hope the decision comes down ASAP and if Dr. Kawa wins then that an injunction is issued immediately to force compliance..
jaque bauer
6:32AM JUL 20TH 2014
Knowing that there are private citizens challenging the Obama regimes tyranny in the courts is comforting, but it will not be enough. Obama continues to walk upon the Constitution as it were a floor mat, and through his incompetent and subversive acts, policies, and executive orders have placed the lives and well being of all Americans in harms way. Diseased illegal migrants flood the borders and are secretly relocated throughout the country without medical screenings, and gangs and Islamic terrorists now enjoy life in America thanks to Obama. Today Obama's henchmen are busily building a paramilitary force that rivals many foreign military establishments. This force innocently named "Homeland Security" is not about security at all. If it were would not our borders be secure today ? Homeland Security is Obama's SS, Gestapo, and SA rolled into one agency and will have the same powers as Obama has stolen. And this agency will perform the same duties as Hitlers infamous security apparatus. I need not explain what this means to Americans, or how they should prepare themselves for Obama's planned tyranny against the American People.
6:22PM JUL 21ST 2014
You forgot BENGHAZI!
6:22PM JUL 21ST 2014
You forgot BENGHAZI!

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