Would You Pay an Extra 4 Cents Per Pizza to Provide Health Insurance to Thousands?

A good friend of mine emailed me the other day to say that she is “so sick of listening to business owners whine about Obamacare.” So this blog is for her.

She was referring to the news that restaurants like Papa Johns, Applebee’s, and the parent company of Red Lobster and Olive Garden announced  they would cut employee hours, close restaurants, lay off employees, and stop hiring new employees because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that companies with 50 or more employees provide health insurance.

A bit of background: Beginning in 2014, the ACA (and, for the record, I find the word “Obamacare” derogatory to one of the most important legislative acts since Medicare) requires that nearly all Americans have health insurance. Low- and moderate-income Americans will either receive coverage through Medicaid or receive government subsidies to buy health insurance through virtual marketplaces called health insurance exchanges, or to help cover the cost of employer-provided insurance. (Don’t worry, I’ll blog about those exchanges in a future post).

But the majority of health insurance in this country is provided by employers, so the ACA contains contingencies to ensure  those companies don’t suddenly drop health insurance as a benefit. Businesses with … Continue Reading

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