People tend to either love or hate White Castle — there’s no in-between when it comes to those greasy little sliders. Me, I love ’em, especially late at night after a round of social throat-wetting. But the Obama administration … Maybe not so much. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
The White Castle hamburger chain fears that a health insurance reform law adopted earlier this year will put its profits on a downward slide.
The Columbus-based family owned restaurant chain — known for serving small square hamburgers called “sliders” — says a single provision in the bill will eat up roughly 55 percent of its yearly net income after 2014.
Starting that year, the bill levies a $3,000-per-employee penalty on companies whose workers pay more than 9.5 percent of household income in premiums for company-provided insurance.
White Castle, which has offered health insurance to its employees since 1924, is considering dropping coverage entirely as one possible way of off-setting the expected financial hit. That would leave the company’s 10,000 formerly covered workers to seek health insurance on their own — most likely from the federal exchange. The feds will impose $2,000-per-person fines on companies that don’t offer coverage, and whose employees turn to federally subsidized insurance instead, but the article cites an IHOP franchise owner who expects the fines to cost roughly half what coverage costs under the new federal scheme.
This squares with what the Heartland Institute’s Health Care News is reporting, with some small businesses panicking about the looming 2014 date. HCN quotes the owner of a small pizza chain saying that if his company is hit with onerous costs under the health care law, “we’ll probably sell all the stores and be done.”
Since the health care law imposes its toughest requirements and penalties on businesses with more than 50 employees, the National Federation of Independent Businesses asks, “what incentive is there for a firm to grow any bigger than 50 employees when it means employers may face such stiff fines?”
What incentive for small businesses to grow — or for larger firms to stay in business, if costs rise and eat up profits?
And all this at the price, as the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner points out, of $2.7 trillion over ten years, a higher national debt, soaring taxes, and health care costs that continue to increase.
Looks like I better stock up on those sliders.
JorgeJuly 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm
I have to stop reading your blogs. You keep reminding me of food I can’t get anymore 🙁
Sadly, given the way things are going in the US, it seems that soon most people there will not be able to get many things.
Chris C.July 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm
I am *so surprised* that ObamaCare is not going to “let people keep their own health care”. My shock is so great that no emoticon is strong enough to portray my astonishment at this news. () I guess now that it was passed, we’re “finding out” what’s in it. As if anyone with the ability to read at a (true) high school level, unencumbered by ideological bias, could not have seen this and other flaws and time bombs coming.
Even worse, regardless of whatever gains the Republicans and/or Tea Party candidates may achieve in the November election, I doubt that a significant portion of this monstrosity will be repealed, if history is any guide. Government power (or any holder of power, for that matter) always ratchets up, not down.
liberranterJuly 14, 2010 at 9:49 am
Even worse, regardless of whatever gains the Republicans and/or Tea Party candidates may achieve in the November election, I doubt that a significant portion of this monstrosity will be repealed, if history is any guide.
You’re right: Congress won’t repeal the Obamacare monstrosity; the laws of economics will. Given its transparent unsustainability, even federal guns won’t be able to compel compliance without a complete and unavoidable economic collapse. It will be a painful thing to endure (NEEDLESSLY painful, like the pain experienced by a toddler who sticks his finger into a lit candle, even after he feels pain just by holding the finger within an inch of the flame), but ultimately it will teach a couple of generations of (erstwhile?) Amoricons the error of their ways.