Treasury, IRS Sued to Overturn Delay of Obamacare Employer Mandate

Just days into the Obamacare occupation and our government-run health insurance “market” is in complete chaos. A massive system breakdown--or a “glitch” if you believe Obama--has caused mass frustration for consumers trying to wrap their heads around the behemoth healthcare overhaul and what it means for them and their families. 

I know that we tried to check out the health insurance options for Judicial Watch, but we were stymied by an impenetrable DC government Internet site. I tried to look as a consumer, and was told that I could not even window shop without giving away personal information about my family and me. No thanks to that!

The federal government, meanwhile, has been partly shut down because Obama refuses to yield any ground to a brave band of conservatives who are adamant that the destructive Obamacare legislation be “delayed, defunded, repealed and replaced.” 

And in this red-hot environment, Judicial Watch moved to undertake a key lawsuit to stand against this president’s abuse of office.

Last Tuesday, at a press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, JW announced the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa of Kawa Orthodontics against the U.S. Department of Treasury, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, the Internal Revenue Service and IRS Director Daniel Werfel.

Dr. Kawa is challenging the Obama administration’s decision to delay the enactment of the so-called “employer mandate” provision of Obamacare.

Our lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of the Boca Raton based company, argues that the delay of the employer mandate “exceeded [the Obama administration’s] statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law, and is otherwise unlawful.”

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 “one of the pillars” of Obamacare--and one of its most controversial tenets.

By law, the mandate was required to take effect January 1, 2014. On July 2, 2013, however, the Obama administration officially postponed the mandate. And here’s why this is a problem for Kawa Orthodontics, and the 200,000 (at least!) other large employers in the U.S.: These companies invested substantial resources and effort to prepare for the controversial provision, which now won’t take effect for another year.

Per the complaint:

[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 employs more than 70 full-time employees in Florida. The company is owned by orthodontist Larry Kawa, a longtime Florida resident and hardworking American community business leader, who expressed the feelings of numerous businesspeople across America in a statement to the press: “I am tired of Washington, DC, picking winners and losers and giving preferential treatment to those inside the Beltway. This is just more of DC career politicians protecting their own.”

With respect to JW’s legal argument, the complaint alleges that the decision to delay the employer mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which forbids “agency action” that exceeds an agency’s statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law. In other words, the president simply can’t change a law because it might be politically (or otherwise) inconvenient. The complaint asks the court to enter a judgment declaring the delay to be unlawful and an injunction prohibiting the delay.

Now, allow me to address a question that might be running through your mind: Doesn’t Judicial Watch oppose the employer mandate?

Yes, it does. Judicial Watch objects to the employer mandate and the entire Obamacare law, which is why we filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging its constitutionality. But we also understand that, under the U.S. Constitution, the law can only be changed by legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president.

And to paraphrase Ulysses S. Grant, the best way to ensure the repeal of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously.

Obama’s decision to delay the employer mandate is a flagrantly transparent attempt to 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 that is why JW is in court.

You can view the press conference in its entirety here. You can see how Judicial Watch and Dr. Kawa are great partners in this effort to hold Obama to account. 


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