Social Question

jca's avatar

What is your opinion of restaurant owners wanting to pass along the anticipated costs of Obamacare to their customers?

Asked by jca (28104 points ) November 15th, 2012

I have been seeing reports in the news of restaurant owners (some pizza chain) and this guy who owns a Denny’s, wanting to raise prices of their menu items, in order to cover the anticipated costs of Obamacare. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/john-metz-hurricane-grill-wings-dennys_n_2122412.html

What is your opinion of these tactics? Is it spite? Are these anticipated cost hikes true? Would you actually eat at a restaurant that wanted to charge you more for something like that? If not, could we expect to see the restaurant owners then crying on the news that they went out of business due to Obamacare?

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120 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

I take it as rhetoric & whining, as well as free publicity for their companies.

I’ve seen Papa John’s house all over Facebook & Twitter, so I can’t feel sorry for a man living in a castle while whining about the need to raise his per pizza price by $0.14.

I’m sick of the BS. People need health care. Business owners need to get over their egos.

tedd's avatar

I talked about this at short length with the HR guy in charge of the insurance at my job (probably 500 or so employees).

The new law will likely lead to increased premiums, as insurance companies will now be mandated to cover children to age 26, and mandated to cover pre-existing conditions. But he was very clear to point out, the vast majority of increased cost with healthcare comes with existing people using the insurance. His exact quote was “87% of all cost increases” will be based off that.

Obamacare comes with safeties to prevent insurers from gouging people to get money from them. For example, there’s a new requirement that insurers spend X% of all their profits on providing healthcare, essentially capping their maximum profit.

Most of these business people are just whining. I have a hard time feeling sorry for big business guys crying about increased healthcare costs, when they’ve kept most of their workforce under 40 hours for decades for the explicit purpose of not having to give them benefits whilst they go home and sleep in mansions every night.

jaytkay's avatar

Do they make a public pronouncement when the price of tomatoes goes up? When coffee and peanut butter costs increase, do they add a “coffee and peanut butter surtax” on every check?

Health care costs have been soaring for the 20 years I have been paying attention.

People who hate Obama are simply inclined to blame him for everything.

Ron_C's avatar

It’s ironic that business people are complaining. Obamacare is cheaper than the current system with more than 20% profit and constantly decreasing benefits.

Premiums are due to drop because healthy people will be added to insurance rolls and companies are bound to compete for these people unless Congress adds some sort of ant-capitalist wording that makes it possible for insurance companies to collude and fix prices.

bolwerk's avatar

When I saw the photo on a Fox News article about this – how idiot conservatives are turning against their own fellow citizens to support these grotesquely unhealthy chains – my first thought was, these people should be lining up at the gym and then the vegetable aisle.

Does it matter if the cost hikes are true? These are things people shouldn’t be eating. By not paying for the healthcare of their employees, these companies are imposing the costs of emergency room visits and like on wider society. I don’t see why self-styled conservatives don’t care about that.

And, I don’t buy that people who don’t care about their bodies are going to start buying low-grade pizza if the costs go up by 15¢.

poisonedantidote's avatar

The way I see it, a restaurant should calculate the cost of ingredients, staff, rent, and any other expense, then set prices that are 4 multiples of of its base cost, in order to be profitable and stay above water.

If the cost of making a meal goes up 1 buck, then the price of the meal should go up 4 bucks. I don’t really have a problem with them wanting to pass on the costs to customers, it is just sensible business. A few pennies can make a difference in the restaurant business, between thriving and failing.

If you need to, you should just be able to go to hospital for free. If a country does not have free health care for all of its citizens, then there is your problem.

Passing on the cost of something the government should be taking care of anyway on to your customers seems ok to me.

Seek's avatar

^ Agreed, I’d happily pay $6 for a $5 pizza if I knew the employees of that chain (and everyone else) had reasonable access to healthcare.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t see the connection unless their pizzas are going to give people food poisoning.

FreshlyBaked's avatar

The secret is in the dough.

I’m thankful I can go to many different locally owned pizza shops. They are infinitely better than their national chain counterparts. There’s the handmade crust, the tomato sauce made right there in the shop, the good cheeses, and the carefully chosen toppings.

I don’t mind paying for the good stuff. I don’t eat out often, so I want good stuff when I do. I understand a bit about economics too. I pay the salaries of those people making the pizza, and I pay for their benefits as well. I like to think I’m helping keep a small business open in the face of large corporate aggressors.

Hearing that the large corporations are whining about the costs of providing health care to their employees makes me burn, and when good bread burns in the toaster, it stinks up the whole house.

Hell, hearing that large corporations are whining about the costs of any reasonable benefit to their employees makes me burn.

bolwerk's avatar

@FreshlyBaked: I more or less agree, but apparently the lesson in restauranting is that cheap, unhealthy shit sells. Look at the people in that Fox News photo; they probably are willing to shovel any manure into their mouth as long as it satisfies their hunger and sweet tooth. Amusingly, it seems restaurants run as mob fronts have better food because profit doesn’t matter too much to them.

tom_g's avatar

We need FEMA to organize air-drops of Kleenex tissues to restaurant owners! First they have to pay a minimum wage (or not depending on tip rules), then they have to meet health standards, then they have to follow other labor laws concerning bathroom breaks and safety standards for workers. Now this?!?!

In all seriousness, just give up. If you can’t f*cking handle treating your workers right, then maybe this isn’t your line of work.

YARNLADY's avatar

I believe it is far more likely they will simply cut the workers hours to less than 30. That way they won’t be included in the plan.

bkcunningham's avatar

If a business, any business, has increased costs for any reason – insurance premiums, fuel costs or whatever – they will increase their charges to the customers to make up for their losses. That is how everyone does business. You pass the costs on to the consumers. It isn’t anything new.

Speaking strictly in regards to the added costs of adding insurance for employees, if the company can’t get an exemption like so many companies have already done, I agree with @YARNLADY. Most will find ways to cut the workforce to a number below he minimum number of employees under Obamacare or perhaps like @tom_g suggests and they will close up shop and move elsewhere where the costs are lower to operate a business.

JLeslie's avatar

I kind of remember that Starbucks and Whole Foods have high prices because they supply their employees with very good benefits. We can’t expect business to give up profits if the market will bear a higher price for the goods/product/service. The question in my mind is how much it really will wind up costing the business to comply with Obamacare and if this is just a good marketing tool to raise prices and make more profit, and the public just accepts it as a necessity. Airlines did that when flights became more expensive, they blamed fuel prices, but they raised them much more than the fuel prices required.

The other thing that bothers me is health care is ridiculously expensive. Obamacare might give more people health coverage, but it did not do anything to control costs from what I can tell, and I rather that had been dealt with. Now more peopleare going to be in the sa,e shitty unfair system. Great.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Actually, it has @JLeslie, mainly in what @tedd mentioned above, there’s required lower limit on the % of premiums that must be spent on healthcare. If the amount is not spent within the term period, the excess is returned to the payee, in this case the company if they cover all the premiums. As insurance companies adjust to this, the premiums will go down as will the rebates.

Secondly, and quite importantly, is this: Insurers are going to get a very large influx of people. By mandating that everyone, even healthy people, buy insurance, it will reduce costs for everyone overall, since sick people are the ones that need to be paid.

bkcunningham's avatar

@BhacSsylan, what do you mean in your last sentence, ”...since sick people are the ones that need to be paid”?

BhacSsylan's avatar

As in, insurers do not need to pay all that much back to healthy people. At most they’re paying some money for wellness visits and possibly low-cost prescriptions. While sick individuals, especially with chronic illnesses with expensive treatments, say cancer or diabetes, require much more money out of the insurers. ‘Paid’ doesn’t quite work in that context (as it’s the provider getting paid, not the insuree), sorry if it was confusing.

DrBill's avatar

Business owners are in business to make money, competition keeps prices down, cost keep the price up. It does not matter what the cost is for, every penny of business expense is passed on to the consumer weather or not it is advertized.

tinyfaery's avatar

These greedy bastards are holding their employees and America hostage. Fuck ‘em. I’m never going to any business that has decided to this, ever again.

glacial's avatar

It’s certainly their right to charge more for their product for whatever reason they see fit. Just as it’s their customers’ right to go to a different restaurant for whatever reason they see fit.

Presumably, this is good publicity among anti-Obama customers, who will now go eat more expensive pizza at their shops. And it is bad publicity for pro-Obama customers, who will avoid them on principle. As a result, it will probably be a draw, and everyone will stop caring about it very soon, if they even do now. To be honest, I think it is just one more thing for the talking heads to chatter about, and the folks who buy pizza won’t even notice the increase if there is one.

jerv's avatar

I see it as further proof that these people will look for any justification to do whatever they damn well please anyways. However, I could not justify posting for a Papa John’s pizza even before this; they don’t make a good pie :p

BhacSsylan's avatar

@glacial “the folks who buy pizza won’t even notice the increase if there is one.” that’s what I first thought months ago when ‘Papa’ mentioned the 14 cent increase. Does he seriously think anyone would say “My pizza is now $6.14 instead of $6? OUTRAGEOUS!

As to actually answer the question, which i have been remiss in doing, it does very much seem like a publicity stunt, and an asshole one at that. Prices rise and fall all the time from various things, and I think giving people healthcare is worth a few extra cents a pizza. I do also think that people who live in literal castles shouldn’t talk about how 14 cents a pizza will be some horrible catastrophe, though, and I will be one of those to avoid those businesses in the future. Granted, since I much preferred the local pizza places here already (and in general), he’s not exactly losing much from me.

bkcunningham's avatar

Okay, so where did the 0.14 cent increase come from?

BhacSsylan's avatar

Because he’s now being forced to pay for healthcare for employees he previously did not. I’m quite sure he’s not lying about it costing him (though the article I linked said it’ll probably cost him much less then he claimed). The problem being that he’s making a big deal out of the fact that the marketplace is changing, something that happens all the time, he’s complaining about having to treat his workers better, which does not engender my compassion, and he’s doing it while living in a literal castle. I think he could absorb the cost and barely notice it, but instead he’s making a big hullabaloo about a rise in price most people would not otherwise notice.

Also, it’s a change that still mostly won’t take effect for another two years. He’s throwing a hissy fit because his guy lost.

cheebdragon's avatar

The 800,000 people already at risk of losing their jobs from obamacare should love this tax also…

bkcunningham's avatar

Come on, @BhacSsylan. Did you read the link? I love how PolitiFact can twist words. The CBO didn’t say “kill 800,000 jobs.” They said there will be a reduction of 800,000 in the labor force.

BhacSsylan's avatar

You should read farther…

“In fact, CBO did not predict a 650,000 job loss. The Republican report cites a CBO report from August, which actually said that the economy will use less labor primarily because many people will choose to work less, or retire early, as a result of the new law

I also edited that link to go directly to the claim instead of the New Hampshire debate factcheck, so if you were looking at that one, the relevant quote is:

“reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.

Also also, that’s factcheck.org, not politifact.

josie's avatar

When the cost of providing goods and services goes up, and if efficiency is at a high level, who else but the customer pays it. Who is this mysterious third party that absorbs or deflects the costs of doing business?

Brian1946's avatar

@FreshlyBaked

GA and I agree 99% with it, except that I like the smell of burnt bread. ;-p

Brian1946's avatar

@bolwerk

Amusingly, it seems restaurants run as mob fronts have better food because profit doesn’t matter too much to them.

You’re probably right about that. They Gotti some great food at The Teflon Don Diner! ;-)

bkcunningham's avatar

If I’m not mistaken, Papa John’s are franchises and aren’t owned by a big corporation. The local owners of the Papa Johns, wherever and whomever they are, pay a royalty fee based on profits to the franchiser. The company started out as a locally owned pizza shop too.

augustlan's avatar

Higher costs are always passed on to the customer, and I don’t have any problem with that. Go ahead and charge me 14 cents more…heck, charge me 50 cents more! What I do have a problem with are the bullshit moves of A) threatening workers’ livelihoods and B) making a huge political statement about it. Assholes, every one of them.

jerv's avatar

@augustlan I am sure that many Americans would swallow a 14 cent increase in pizza prices without even noticing. Hell, I’ve seen the price of a gallon of gas go up more in a week. No, it’s the bullshit surrounding this particular move that gets me too.

@josie True.. as far as it goes. Thing is, the math doesn’t add up.

bkcunningham's avatar

Can anyone find a list of the current ACA waivers?

emilianate's avatar

I don’t understand the logic behind the boycott. If the boycott is successful, then the boss loses money, or goes out of business, but if the boss loses money or goes out of business, then not only do the employees not get health insurance, they also lose their job.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I saw that today @augustlan. I chuckled out loud.

CWOTUS's avatar

One presumes that, according to the line that @jerv posted, the cost of pizzas in the current scheme of all ingredient costs will rise approximately 14¢ per piece due to the direct cost of increased healthcare to Papa John’s employees. Sure, that sounds like nothing at all, except to someone who already figures their profits in pennies per piece.

According to Wikipedia and their annual report for 2010, they had sales that year of $1,126,397,000. Breaking that down into “pizzas” of roughly $15 each (which is simplistic, given the variety of their menu), that means approximately 75 million pizzas, give or take. Given a net income of $51,940,000, that means that they make approximately $0.69 per pizza. A 14¢ increase in cost is a big deal, then.

However, one also has to realize that the cost of tomatoes, other vegetables, pepperoni, other meats, all other ingredients, transportation of those ingredients to the store, and everything else that makes up a pizza, will also rise. I’d say that he’s probably underestimating his costs now; he really doesn’t know how the cost increases in the world around him are going to affect him, given that he almost certainly doesn’t have long-term contracts to supply ingredients at current prices for very long. All he knows is what the effect on his own cost structure will be; I doubt if anyone can very accurately predict what the total cost impact to the economy will be. The CBO is notoriously bad at predicting such things. They’ll generate tons of pretty charts and graphs, but they have no more than an idea… and a raft of footnotes to attempt to deflect the blame when their projections fail to pan out.

rojo's avatar

I have not read any of the other responses so if I say the same thing I am sorry. Screw them, there are plenty of other places to eat. They are just using this as an excuse to do what they want to do. I mean seriously, you are yanking my chain. It is just like the Dow Jones Average plunging after Obama wins a second term. You are just trying to punish me for not doing things your way. I will remember and after all this crap has come to pass I will still not eat your goddam pizza or whatever for the wa you tried to play me.

jrpowell's avatar

@emilianate :: Then the employees get a job at Pizza hut to absorb the excess demand and Papa John only has one golf course next to his castle.

rojo's avatar

And another thing, the problem is not actual heath care, the problem is the soul sucking insurance industry that we seem to be propping up. Screw them too.

Sorry, I am in a pretty pissy mood right now.

jrpowell's avatar

@rojo :: The problem is the vultures that pay the people that make your pizza barely enough to pay rent and afford to buy a pizza from where they work.

Our Gini Coefficient is around the same as China’s. Basically this means that the CEO makes 1000 times what the person making the product does.

rojo's avatar

Again, the workers suffer and the fat cats bask in the sun on the beach at cabo.

emilianate's avatar

@johnpowell,

Pizza hut is not immune to Obama Care. They’re going to take the same actions. Obama care is an expense that will be part of all businesses income statements, which means reduced profit margins/losses unless they raise the price of pizza. Back to square one.

rojo's avatar

@emilianate I basically agree with what you are saying and am pissed off that Obama did not have the balls to put forth a single payer system with the federal government overseeing the program. This would spread the cost over a much larger area and cover everyone in the process.

jrpowell's avatar

@emilianate :: So what do pizza places compete on? Is it price or quality? Or advertising?

There is huge margins in the shitty crap they call pizza. They could have a price war but do what is called “Collusion” to avoid the race to the bottom.

Little Caesars is better than Papa Johns and is five bucks for a single topping large.

emilianate's avatar

@rojo

No, single player would cause far more damage than Obama Care. It’s the wrong solution. I’ll just link you here because there is too much to talk about the subject. Cons outweigh the pros.

@johnpowell

If the quality of the pizza is really that good, then they can get away with charging more because the buyers are willing to pay extra. Highly unlikely though with fast food pizza. The point is they’re forced to take the risk of increasing prices and having the market possibly reject that price which may lead to their demise.

Look at Fedex (non-union) vs UPS (union). Fedex is always cheaper and provides a much more efficient/reliable service link It’s a no brainer in my opinion to go with Fedex, but UPS does still hold there own. Hard to say.

rojo's avatar

@emilianate No, I do not believe so. I believe heath care would be more affordable and higher quality if we could elimininate the insurance middleman from the equasion.

emilianate's avatar

If you eliminate the insurance man from the equation then it should be between doctors and patients. That is it. Just like any other industry. Buyers-sellers.

rojo's avatar

Hey!!!! There’s an Idea!! Why don’t we try that?

emilianate's avatar

We should.

Hmm, something happened to that single player link, here is google’s cache of it. link

jerv's avatar

@CWOTUS You missed the point; the cost increase isn’t, in fact, 14 cents. Closer to 4 cents, actually. Now do you see the issue?

Of course, the root cause of the issue here is the cost of healthcare, followed by the gouging of health insurance. If we could get our costs down to where they are in the entire rest of the world (including the many places that have better patient outcomes) and bring the insurance industry to heel (sure, they are entitled to make a profit, but not at the expense of lives) then the costs passed on to businesses would be reduced.

rojo's avatar

Ok @emilianate I read the link and what I got out of it is that yes, a single payer system that eliminated private health insurance is the way to go.

Now what?

emilianate's avatar

Nothing. I just linked you that so I wouldn’t have to type out the cons. I see the cons canceling out all the pros.

emilianate's avatar

It also isn’t the case that everyone wants healthcare, especially among the young-working poor. Some would prefer an increased salary instead. My husband and I willingly asked our bosses for higher pay instead having insurance. We eat healthy, we don’t smoke, and don’t live a risky lifestyle. Others will argue that if something should happen to us, society will be burdened with the cost, but i’d be happy to sign waiver for emergency care if I cannot pay for it. The likelihood of something happening is slim which means if and when the day actually comes, I would have saved more than enough to pay for any emergency visit.

tedd's avatar

@emilianate lol

You won’t last long on this site dear.

Seek's avatar

Geez, all this over a guy who literally gives away a large three topping absolutely free to anyone that attends a baseball game, if the pitcher gets 10 strikeouts in a game.

I’ve never actually purchased Papa John’s pizza, but I have gotten a free pie after almost every Rays game I’ve attended.

That’s gotta account for…. 100 pizzas worth of health insurance every game (assuming $15 for a large three topping) Just me. Plus one for my husband, and one for my son. At least once a year. Times a couple thousand people per game…

How about this: up the promo to 12 Ks in a game, and you’ve paid your entire staff’s health insurance by not giving out free pizza quite as often.

tom_g's avatar

This isn’t (to me) about whether or not his margin of profit is so small that he needs to charge .14/pizza to make it up. I mean, his cost fluctuate all the time. He depends on the cost of his supplies, the cost of gasoline, the cost of utilities to the stores, the price of tomatoes, etc. Either he has a margin that can accommodate these or he doesn’t. But I seem to have missed his .14/pizza price increase and political bullshit show for all of these other events.

To me this just seems like an admission that their business model is shit. If the only way you can make a profit is to have workers without health insurance, then you and your product are not worth having. Your jobs are not worth saving. You are the problem. Period.

CWOTUS's avatar

That’s an unfortunately arrogant attitude, @tom_g, from someone who doesn’t have to make a payroll. Apparently the workers at Papa John’s feel otherwise about their jobs, or they wouldn’t be there. After all, it’s a voluntary arrangement; they aren’t owned by the business.

tedd's avatar

Here’s what it comes down to for me. You have all these business that have full time employees, and they aren’t giving them any health insurance benefits. Now they’re whining when we make it mandatory, since that’s an incredibly dick move on their part, when they’re multi-million dollar companies (as even most of the small 50+ employee ones are).

Cry.Me.A.River.

tom_g's avatar

@CWOTUS – If there were no labor laws at all (or minimum wage laws) there would be people who would take these jobs. People do what they have to do to eat. And it would be voluntary.

Could you elaborate (save the “arrogant” comments)?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@bolwerk How did you find a picture with 5 people and 9 chins?

bolwerk's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe: looking for populist propaganda praising fast food is a good way to start.

Seek's avatar

Oh, my company has a grand total of… wait for it… Nine employees. We all have health insurance provided at no cost to us by the company.

And I’ve seen the owners’ houses. They’re not hurting.

jerv's avatar

@CWOTUS You just illustrated that Conservatives have a weird idea of the word “voluntary”.

CWOTUS's avatar

@tom_g

My comments are self-explanatory regarding the voluntary nature of non-coercive employer-employee relations. If the employees at Papa John’s don’t like the terms of employment, wages, conditions, benefits or lack of them, then they are free to leave. The fact that they haven’t indicates that at least according to them the jobs are worth having. Hence your arrogance in determining for yourself that they aren’t. If you don’t want to work there, then that’s fine. No one is asking you to, are they?

@jerv

Hmm. In the first place I’m in no way a “Conservative”, although I will admit that I’m basically a conservative person in aspect. But what’s weird about my use of the word “voluntary”?

If anything, the word has been perverted through government reference to Income Tax, for example, as “voluntary”, and other usage such as FICA “contributions”. Tell me those aren’t perverted usages of common words.

CWOTUS's avatar

In an attempt to de-personalize this somewhat and get back to the basics of my argument:

Most market transactions (at least the ones I’m familiar with in the USA, Canada, Europe and the parts of Asia that I’ve visited) are strictly voluntary. Willing sellers and willing buyers agreeing on prices and terms and transacting business accordingly. The same goes, for the most part, with employer – employee relations: employees agree to sell their time and talents for wages and benefits that the employer agrees to pay in exchange. Each is free (within limits) to break the agreement off, while settling past claims. Each is also free to request modification to the basic agreement. That’s negotiation, and it happens in all markets to greater or lesser degree.

Now a new law – an outside party to the market – has mandated that changes have to be made by the employer. Whether you agree with his complaints of added cost and lost business or not, and it is clear that many do not, the employer still maintains the right to run his business as he sees fit. He has the right to add or subtract to his employment as he predicts the market reaction to the higher prices that he must impose on his customers.

He also has the right to go out of business if he makes bad predictions: if he overestimates the business he expects to lose when his prices necessarily rise, then by firing people now he won’t have enough resources to cope with increased demand, and he will lose the business he expected to lose, and maybe more besides.

So why not just be happy that if he has guessed wrong – as so many here seem to think – then he’ll go out of business sooner and all of his employees can then be “freed” to look for better jobs elsewhere. Maybe they can all work for you…

Calling him names because he objects to a policy or law that you love and support just seems to indicate to me a lack of class on the part of the name-callers.

tom_g's avatar

@CWOTUS: “If the employees at Papa John’s don’t like the terms of employment, wages, conditions, benefits or lack of them, then they are free to leave.”

So, I think we agree here that they’re free to leave. We seem to disagree about the role of government in regulating business and labor. You seem to be making the case for the elimination of any labor or workplace safety laws. Right?

CWOTUS's avatar

Please don’t put words in my mouth, @tom_g. While I would generally favor much less government intervention in most employment, including the elimination of minimum wage laws, for example and for starters, I seldom make broad proclamations of “always”, “none” and “never”. Never say never.

In the current instance I disfavor the law and its mandates; I agree with those who claim that it will increase costs, and therefore prices to consumers – and probably result in lost business (to the extent that most business is optional and purchasing decisions are often based primarily on price) and for that reason it will inevitably lead to generally lowered employment across many industries, with the restaurant business being a prime casualty.

Why not require business to provide auto, home and life insurance to employees – heck, customers, too! – while we’re at it?

tom_g's avatar

@CWOTUS – I apologize for putting words in your mouth. I should have been more clear that I was not clear (“You seem to be making the case for the elimination of any labor or workplace safety laws. Right?”).

Yep, we disagree here. It happens. I think we’re clear on what we disagree on, however. It’s much larger than health insurance.

@CWOTUS: “Why not require business to provide auto, home and life insurance to employees – heck, customers, too! – while we’re at it?”

Sure! ;) Seriously, though – I’d really rather have a fully-socialized health system. But if we are not going to provide this, that leaves everyone’s favorite superhero (business) to pick up the slack. You don’t have to get too slippery slope here. Health insurance is something that I feel is pretty basic in a modern society.

tedd's avatar

@CWOTUS Employees are free to leave Papa Johns…. and go to another employer who will treat them in the exact same manner.

I will not shed any tears for papa johns, a company that has for years kept it’s staff at just shy of enough hours to qualify for health benefits.. when suddenly a new law calls them out on it and mandates them to give staff that should’ve had insurance for the past decade, insurance finally.

cheebdragon's avatar

@BhacSsylan Factcheck said they debunked it 2011, and again at the beginning of 2012, Were they fact checking the future?

cheebdragon's avatar

If Pizza Hut isn’t hiring, well, you might just be fucked…

jerv's avatar

@CWOTUS The “within limits” part is where things go South quickly. Many seem to be under the misguided impression that if government didn’t step in, employers would treat their workers equitably. They also seem to think that job openings are more abundant than they are, so you always have the option to find a better deal elsewhere. As my own life, dozens of those close to me, thousands that I’ve heard about, and millions that I assume based on the fact that my attention has only been on a relatively few spots in a nation of hundreds of millions prove those both wrong, I cannot agree with optimistic theory in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

My former employer used to cover 80% of the cost of our insurance. Over the course of a few years, costs rose. I got few raises, but that was because they covered 95% of the insurance costs, which proved to me that there are ways to offset costs without layoffs, cutting hours, or otherwise fucking the workers over while also keeping profits decent. The catch is, you have to be good with money to pull that off. Having more empathy than a serial killer also helps.

CWOTUS's avatar

@tom_g

Well, we agree that health insurance is a pretty basic requirement in our modern society. But we disagree about who should provide that. I think that in the same way people work (or otherwise exchange) in order to acquire the other things they need and want in life, that’s something they should (choose to) work or exchange for as well. But I stop short of “requiring” them to do that, and I certainly wouldn’t require it of others.

We’ve put ourselves in a box of “employer-provided” health insurance because it was something that was offered to some employees after WW II, when (American) employers were scrambling for high-value employees and offered it as a perk to attract them. Since it was offered as a non-cash benefit it was successfully lobbied to be excluded from the requirements of Income Tax… and so we built this stupid box that we’re in now.

I would much rather see a marketplace of health insurers competing for individual account holders (the way most other insurance is sold, in fact) than the current system, in which my employer is the “account holder” (customer of the insurer) and I’m nothing more than a cost.

tedd's avatar

@CWOTUS The ideal system would be socialized… whether you’d like to accept/admit that or not.

Money should never be the primary focus of an industry that is supposed to provide us with healthcare.

glacial's avatar

@tedd Thank you – that is exactly right. Healthcare should not be run as a for-profit business. That model is just twisted.

jaytkay's avatar

I would much rather see a marketplace of health insurers competing for individual account holders

The problem with that is insurers will give young people insurance, and drop them when they reach a certain age.

For efficiency, the pool has to be as large as possible. Young people pay in more than they use, and older people will use more.

That’s how first world countries handle it. The US doesn’t . Instead we spend twice as much per person and get worse results.

Seek's avatar

^ We already see this with life insurance. Oh, you’re 85 now? No longer covered. And with car insurance. Oh, you’re 21? You get to pay double. Why? Because we say so. We don’t care that your driving record is perfect.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@cheebdragon huh? What do you mean? The claim appeared at least twice, so they called it out both times, is that what you’re talking about?

jerv's avatar

@CWOTUS Group discounts are unavailable to individuals. It would cost me far more to insure myself than what my employer and I combined pay for the coverage I have. But good luck getting consumers to coordinate their own groups, and we know current insurance companies won’t revamp their pricing structure anytime soon. So yes, we put ourselves in a box that is going to be hard to get out of.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, young drivers pay higher premiums because they are a higher risk. I’ve always heard that statistically male drivers have more accidents and are prone to riskier behavior and their premiums are usually higher. I have never heard of a life insurance company dropping someone because they were elderly.

cheebdragon's avatar

@BhacSsylan Both articles were written before most of these taxes even go into effect, do they have a crystal ball for fact checking the future?

BhacSsylan's avatar

Wow. Well, first I have to ask the same of you then, where did your claim come from, then, the same ball? I notice you didn’t source anything when claiming that, and those costs are still not in effect. However, the reason they can fact check it is because that particular claim comes from a twisting of a CBO report released earlier. So they can’t say that it will not happen, but they can say that the particular claim is incorrect and a misrepresentation of the study.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I have never heard of a person losing their life insurance. If they have term insureance it ends at a certain date, but the person knows when they buy it. As far as young drivers, usually after they druve for a few years without incident their premiums drop, bit i itially the insurance company goes with the general statistitcs on risk as @bkcunningham pointed out. Later the insurance company will switch to stats of the individual.

jaytkay's avatar

I have never heard of a person losing their life insurance

Really?

You divorce and your spouse had the insurance – out you go.

You lose your job – see ya!!

You could be like this guy- FOX News – Man dropped from health insurance in the middle of cancer treatment

This next one is about new applications, not dropping current customers, but it still illustrates the problem with being part of the You-Are-On-Your-Own-Good-Luck!! insurance plan:
USA Today – Health insurance denial rates routinely 20%, data show

US citizens pay TWICE as much for health care as first world countries. Our system is not good. It is not defensible.

woodcutter's avatar

Pizza is not a necessity of life and not the only kind of business with employees. All kinds of businesses with have to abide by the new rules such as utility companies for example. Those guys who repair transmission cables in the dead of the night in the freezing rain? Rates are probably going to increase some which will create a need for more customers to go on assistance or lay off technicians which could cause it to take much longer to get a grid back up. Laying off good workers in any kind of business is something that is begrudgingly done out of necessity, not spite.

augustlan's avatar

Since, in the long run, Obamacare is supposed to reduce insurance costs, I wonder if these companies will then lower their prices for us? Somehow, I doubt it.

bkcunningham's avatar

@jaytkay, the insurance discussion you are adding to is about a life insurance company dropping you because you are too old. It is a comment that @Seek_Kolinahr made earlier. You made some good points, but they aren’t relevant to the point of life insurance companies dropping elderly customers.

jca's avatar

@jaytkay: @jleslie was talking about life insurance and you are talking about health insurance, yes? Two different things…..

jaytkay's avatar

@jca The topic is medical insurance. Jumping back another step in the thread, I believe @Seek_Kolinahr may have meant medical.

But yes, I see now that @JLeslie specifically said life insurance.

jerv's avatar

@augustlan Lowering long-term costs for the benefit of all (workers and employers, as well as being enough additional people that any money they lose on lower premiums is more than made back by having far more customers) would require a short-term profit reduction. Therefore, fuck everybody; they would rather destroy the universe than ever slow that to happen. Don’t believe me? How else would you explain their behavior that is callous to the point of self-destruction, and rather nihilistic? The long-term doesn’t matter.

Jaxk's avatar

Jeez, I can’t believe I read this whole thread. I thought the health care debacle was already resolved. It has passed, it was upheld by the Supreme Court, and Obama was re-elected. It’s over. If Papa John’s wants to raise prices to cover the added costs, either let him or nationalize the damned business. Most of you seem to think the government is a model of efficiency and light. Let them do it. You’ve already got a guy in office that is not above firing the CEO and taking control of a business (GM) so do it. Hell, let’s just nationalize everything. That way you get your utopia and no one can object without being jailed. I love it when a plan comes together.

tom_g's avatar

I get a kick out of the selective use of slippery slope and the complete lack of acknowledgement that the US is unique among “developed nations” and its ranking as 37th best health care.

It’s also interesting how liberals simultaneously get attacked as being anti-government, ACLU freedom fundamentalists who are also light on crime, and somehow also supporters of an authoritarian police state (“That way you get your utopia and no one can object without being jailed.”). Call me a snob, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to demand that everyone be exposed to college level critical reasoning classes in high school. You wouldn’t be able to get away with this stuff well into adulthood.

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh, as long as we’re talking about what we like…

I like how “health care” is equated to “health outcome”, as if they’re the same thing.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk It’s one thing to raise prices because the cost of cheese went up, but another to ron peoples lives because of your ideology. And when the government is preferable to the existing system, that tells you that the existing system is fucked up. Government intervention is something to be avoided, but I think out better to avoid it by having companies do a better job than government instead of trying to neuter government so that companies can be utter shitheads.
So quit whining about the wrong side of the equation, and tell private industry that they are inferior to something that is proven to suck. If privatization it’s so great, why is it that the marketplace prefers government over it? Maybe because, as bad as it is, government is a superior product, and the free market is working as intended?

Jaxk's avatar

@tom_g

“You wouldn’t be able to get away with this stuff well into adulthood.”

I’m just curious what this means. Would you have me shot, institutionalized, or just reprogrammed? Kind of 1984ish. A movie before it’s time.

And just for the record, I would NEVER accuse liberals of being anti-government.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

Yes, the world is crying for an Obama thin crust, vegetarian pizza. Sounds yummy. And as an added plus, we’ll make the rich guys pay for it. Hell if that’s not utopia, what is?

tom_g's avatar

@Jaxk: “I’m just curious what this means. Would you have me shot, institutionalized, or just reprogrammed? Kind of 1984ish. A movie before it’s time.”

Ok. Now I know you’re just f*cking with me.

@Jaxk: “And just for the record, I would NEVER accuse liberals of being anti-government.”

Oh, good. Sorry if I lumped you in with those that accuse us of being morally bankrupt that we want the government out of our bodies and our bedrooms, or when we want to be able to legalize drugs, or when we would like the ability to marry the person we love, or when we fiercely advocate for free speech.

But could you please stop with the horseshit that we’re heading towards a dystopian nightmare because we are progressing towards the rest of the developed world, like the UK? Make fish and chips jokes, but keep Orwell out of it.

Jaxk's avatar

@tom_g

Once again, you misread me. I didn’t ask to be dropped from the roles of those that think liberals are morally bankrupt. Hell, I’m a charter member. I do realize that you have very specific rules on what government should be involved in. You want the government out of the bedroom but want free birth control. You want free speech but only when it agrees with you. You want diversity in everything except thought (kind of misses the whole point). You want to legalize drugs but outlaw fatty foods, or large drinks, or salt, or whatever suits your fancy. You want choice but only choices you like.

Sorry, I seem to be heading towards that dystopian nightmare you hate. No fish and chips issues until you guys decide to outlaw them as well. Deep fat fried, you know.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Free birth control costs less than unwanted children. But if you would rather expand the foster care systemand increase medical costs at taxpayer expense just because you are too shortsighted to understand the concept of spending a little now to reduce long-term costs then I cannot take you seriously about financial matters. I mean, I thought your objection was (at least in part) about cost control.

As for wanting free speech, but only that which agrees with is, I have seen more attempts from your side of the fence quash dissenting voices than from those of us on the side that consider dissenting opinions and ridicule to also be covered under the First Amendment. You know the old saying, “I may hate what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”? If we truly wanted to silence you for disagreeing, we would have tried. Instead, we consider the mindless drivel and untruths to be a small price to pay for retaining the right to say, “You’re full of shit!”.

tom_g's avatar

@Jaxk: “You want the government out of the bedroom but want free birth control.”

Looks like @jerv addressed this one.

@Jaxk: “You want free speech but only when it agrees with you.”

Really? That would mean that I am not a supporter of free speech. I don’t get this one at all. Maybe you could explain.

@Jaxk: “You want diversity in everything except thought (kind of misses the whole point).”

Again, is this code for something? I don’t understand what you are referring to here.

@Jaxk: “You want to legalize drugs but outlaw fatty foods, or large drinks, or salt, or whatever suits your fancy.”

Again – really? I do? Strange. I don’t ever recall taking this position.

@Jaxk: “You want choice but only choices you like.”

I haven’t seen someone take this many swings at a straw man in a long time. Did it feel good?

emilianate's avatar

Liberal stance, the way I understand it, is they want to give individuals all the social freedoms they want, but then when individuals screw up their lives and it comes time to suffer the consequences, liberals remove individual freedom by forcing society as a whole to bailout all those individuals who ruined their lives, instead of allowing them to have the freedom to suffer the consequences. .

So the obvious knee-jerk liberal response to this would be that if you don’t want to help, you’re anti-empathy/compassion for your fellow man. Well then the obvious response to the liberals is if you love your fellow man so much, why didn’t you force individuals to behave properly at all times so they never get to screw up their lives? The communists, for example, use to give 1 portion per person and when someone came for second portions, they were not allowed to have one. It wasn’t because there was a shortage (although there was one later on in years, no thanks to the government), it was because a second portion isn’t healthy for you since the first portion was adequate. A second portion would eventually make you obese over the years, stretching the stomach. The second portion becomes 3rd, 4th, etc. This and among other negative health effects (medical science confirms this).

But liberals find this method repulsive since it’s anti-freedom, yet when it comes time to suffering, they don’t mind instituting the very thing they despise.

Jaxk's avatar

@tom_g & @jerv

Typical liberal response. You offer a solution but never look back to see if it worked. During the last 3 or so decades we seen the growth of abortions and birth control. The last number I saw said 99% of women have used birth control. So there’s no shortage of methods to control unwanted pregnancy. Yet in 1980 there were 300,000 children that had spent some time in orphanages or foster care. By 2005 the number had grown to 800,000. Your theory hasn’t worked. Teach the kids how to have sex in school, give them free rubbers and birth control, promote abortions when that doesn’t work and you still have more unwanted children, more unwed mothers, and more foster kids than before you started. Maybe it’s time to rethink this ridiculous theory you’ve come up with.

Free Speech – wasn’t it you liberals that pushed for the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ to try and shut down talk radio? You tried liberal talk radio but no one wanted to hear that crap so you decided to silence the other side. Hasn’t worked yet but I know you’ll keep trying.

The rest of this is fairly covered in @emilianate‘s response. If you don’t do the right things we’ll bail you out but also legislate that you have to do the right things. Of course liberals will define what is the right thing.

tom_g's avatar

Not sure where you’re going with the birth control stuff, but I’m under the impression that we’ve made some serious progress. Here are some numbers from the CDC. Also, while teen pregancy rates are at an all-time low in the US, there are some states that are doing better than others. I’m not sure what’s going on in those red states, but we seem to be doing ok here in the liberal wasteland of Massachusetts (see the list).

Anyway, I know nothing about this Fairness Doctrine, other than it was introduced by the FCC in 1949, but I am against every imaginable type of censorship. Seriously.

@Jaxk: “If you don’t do the right things we’ll bail you out but also legislate that you have to do the right things.”

Again, this type of language is going over my head. It might fly in certain circles, but I’m seriously missing what you’re talking about. Maybe you could enlighten me on what I do or do not support.

jca's avatar

@Jaxk: Increased numbers of children in foster care and/or orphanages may be due, at least in part, to the popularity of crack (cocaine) which really exploded around 1988, and also more stringent laws regarding child welfare, neglect and abuse, and the enforcement of such, which results in removals of children from their homes, either temporarily or permanently.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Typical Conservative response. You want to try something that had has been proven to be bad in the hopes that it will work out better.

We won’t even get into confusing correlation with causation as unwanted pregnancy and (especially) teen pregnancy isn’t really an issue in Europe; it seems to be an American problem.

When it comes to shutting down talk radio, that often has more to do with slander or inciting hatred than with suppression of ideas. Tell you what though; if you manage to purge the people who responded, “Kill the nigger!” when they heard the 2012 election results from your side, and get Fox to start doing enough fact-checking that Fox viewers are not provably more ignorant than those who don’t follow the news at all, then we will no longer attack talk radio. However, for somebody who seems to strongly opposed the other side being able to speak their mind and make rebuttals, you sure are making a lot of noise.

I can guarantee that you would bitch even more if we got rid of the Fairness Doctrine altogether and had you banned from Fluther though, so try and see how policies affect you for the better.See, if the Fairness Doctrine were reinstated, then the Liberal media would have to allow Conservatives to speak. Just like the economy, you are supporting policies against your own self-interest.

@emilianate If you are all about having people suffer for the consequences of their actions, we could legalize beating of those with dissenting opinions…. and according to the latest election results, you and @Jaxk were in the minority, not only here, but nationwide. Gawd knows how much violence your side wants with all of it’s talk about “Second amendment solutions”.
Personally, I favor a system where the first portion is free, the next (insert reasonable number here) are for sale, and nobody is allowed to buy the entire fucking stock and single-handedly induce shortages. You favor being able to walk out with the entire pantry and let life itself be a luxury item. But I am a fucking Liberal because I don’t let you have the shirt off my back and the food out of my mouth? The more you talk, the more you sound like a true danger to society. At least @Jaxk is just a cranky old man (and a rather intelligent one, despite his occasionally myopic views on some things), but you….

emilianate's avatar

That doesn’t make any sense. No freedom supporter would hold such a stance as “we could legalize beating of those with dissenting opinions…” That would be anti-freedom. 2nd amendment right is for defense against governments that try to take freedom away or against civilians that attempt to do the same.

The rest of your arguments proves my point, thank you. Contradictions of the highest order.

emilianate's avatar

@jerv,

You linked to a survey conducted by the Fairleigh Dickinson University. This is one of the worst universities in the America – ranked 556 overall out of 650, and you used them as a legitimate polling source. Even the way they conducted the study is illegitimate

jerv's avatar

@emilianate In that case, you now know how most people feel when people like you talk about economics. But if half-truths, shoddy methodology, and bullshit are good enough for your side….

And funny of you to talk about contradictions when your ideology is full of nothing but contradictions. I include inconsistencies, double standards, and supporting self-defeating policies under “contradictions” simply as all are where your actions and stated desires conflict with your stated goals.

emilianate's avatar

Hey @jerv, get your own people under control before you make it a one side exclusive. Before elections, these are some samples of what was said… link 1 link 2 link 3 link 4 link 5 link 6 Link 7

cheebdragon's avatar

@Jerv asking for a credible source because we will believe anything?

jerv's avatar

@emilianate Et tu? I need not point out any counter-examples because they are so prevalent that the only way you could miss them is intentional ignorance. I include some of your posts in that category.

@cheebdragon I go where experience and historical fact lead me. I’m not saying Liberals always have it right, but they seem to have it less wrong less often. But if you honestly believe that Obama was POTUS in 2008, that negative is greater than double-digit positive, and that your shit doesn’t stink, that is your prerogative.

tedd's avatar

Everytime I go away for a day or two I come back and there’s 35 f-ing new messages in a thread. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!

cheebdragon's avatar

@BhacSsylan I don’t even need a crystal ball to figure out that factcheck.org can not predict the future. To me, It’s common sense, but everyone is different I guess….
Anyway, lets try going straight to the source, to clear up any confusion…

“CBO estimates that the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.”
Some provisions of the legislation will discourage people from working more hours or entering the workforce, and other provisions will encourage them to work more. Moreover, many people will be unaffected by those provisions and will face the same incentives regarding work as they otherwise would have.”
“Because the legislation will affect individuals’ decisions on both whether to participate in the workforce and the number of hours they work, its effect on employment is difficult to predict. If the legislation did not affect the average number of hours worked per employed person, CBO projects that it would reduce household employment in 2021 by about 800,000. However, because the legislation will probably affect average hours worked among those employed, the effect on employment will be somewhat different.

”*The projections of the budgetary impact and other impacts of health care legislation are quite uncertain because assessing the effects of making broad changes in the nation’s health care and health insurance systems—or of reversing scheduled changes—requires assumptions about a broad array of technical, behavioral, and eco- nomic factors. *” Source

cheebdragon's avatar

“Surveys of employers regarding their plans for offering health insurance coverage in the future offer conflicting findings. For example, Mercer (a leading human resources consulting firm) conducted a survey in the late summer of 2011 and found that about 9 percent of all surveyed employers with 500 or more employees said they were likely to stop offering health insurance coverage to their workers after 2014.17 Much higher levels of employers’ dropping of health benefits were predicted in a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company (a leading international management consulting firm). In June 2011, McKinsey reported that about 30 percent of employers said they would “definitely or probably” stop offering health insurance coverage to their employees after 2014, and more than 50 percent of employers with a high awareness of the ACA’s provisions stated that they would “definitely or probably” drop coverage.18 In contrast, another survey conducted in May 2011 by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that between 1 percent and 3 percent of employers plan to eliminate health benefits for active employees, new workers that they will hire, workers’ dependents, or retirees.19 And yet another survey conducted in May 2011 found that nearly 19 percent of employers said they would consider eliminating health insurance coverage in 2014.”—Source

BhacSsylan's avatar

@cheebdragon You are still misrepresenting the source. They are not projecting a loss of jobs they are projecting people deciding not to work because they don’t have to. How can you not understand the distinction?

Also, the CBO can’t predict the future, but neither can you, and that’s what started this whole thing off.

Here in case you still don’t understand:

Your claim:
“The 800,000 people already at risk of losing their jobs from obamacare”

CBO claim, from which that 800000 number came from:
“CBO estimates that the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.

Not laid off, not losing their job, choosing to not work.

cheebdragon's avatar

If those who lost jobs were simply replaced by others who need them, then there would be no reduction in the amount of labor used in the economy. That would be “turnaround” not “loss”.

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