Now Denny's is getting involved (healthcare related)

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    So, Papa Johns, Red Lobster, Jimmy Johns, Olive Garden and now Denny’s. Are these guys just sore losers, or is there something to this? If they all limit employee hours to 30 a week to skirt Obamacare and/or add a 5% “Obamcare” surcharge to every tab is that a prudent thing for a business owner to do? I assume if enough businesses participate that a boycott won’t have any material impact.




    On one hand they have a point. Asking America’s businesses to pick up the tab for America’s healthcare delivery is not good for business…

    and it isn’t efficient since too many choose plans based on expense rather than healthcare delivery.

    On the other hand.. i won’t be setting foot in any of those restaurants as long as they play this card.

    The truth is that those businesses are deferring their business expense onto the public when they manipulate employees hours to avoid healthcare costs… and it isn’t just healthcare we end up paying for.

    A better solution is for the business community to get behind single payer so that we can provide basic healthcare economically and efficiently.



    Most “under the radar” industries are doing the same thing. Call centers for example are limiting hours to 30/week.

    Also, if all (or most) service industry/F&B companies do the same thing as Denny’s there won’t be anyone to *not* boycott, right?



    I’d opt for the “sore loser” and “making excuses for cost-shifting” answer.

    Wanna see a fast food restaurant company model that is successful and still shows respect and care for their employees? Look here…



    Businesses can choose whichever option they’d like to comply with PPACA. Their business, their choice. What bothers me is them making a giant show of picking the asshole-iest option of reducing hours & dumping their employees into the exchange AND making a big deal of charging their customers for the compliance. It’s double dipping if you understand the law. If they reduce all hours so that they have less than 50 FT or FT equivalent employees, then there’s no penalty and no mandate! What the hell are they charging for? It seems akin to saying, “Well the government says we are forced to construct a handicap accessible entrance now, UGH, so we have to charge you 5 cents extra on your burger to pay for it.” Just comply and don’t whine about it.

    @smitty, I’d have to argue with you on that one. I work in this field, employee benefits, and my husband works at a call center. He’s paid very well and his benefits are robust because his employer understands the value of taking care of its employees. I know firsthand that there are many, many like-minded businesses that are already doing the same thing, no matter how “under the radar” you may think those jobs are. I would not at all say that *most* service industries will be doing the same thing.



    It’s true that we need to get to single-payer to really get costs under control. But the things that really burn me are:

    1. ACA was born from a CONSERVATIVE think tank. This was their idea how to keep profit flowing to insurance companies and still get most/all covered – which is imperative for leveling the premium costs for everyone.

    2. Lots of these companies don’t realize that adding CENTS – yes CENTS – to the prices of their products, they get massive good will by their employees and even customers who want to support companies that have SOME BASIC human empathy.

    3. Have you noticed that Papa John’s owner will spend more giving away a million pizzas for the Super Bowl than it would cost to give his staff basic health care (the cost of which he could pass along to the consumer)? Oh, and his 21 car garage, golf course and two swimming pools of one of his major homes needs some upgrades, no doubt.

    These “let them eat cake” robberbarons have no shame, no empathy, no desire to help anyone but their own. Boycott ’em if you want but let them know why. That’s all they respond to. $$$



    And here’s an interesting article about another competing pizza place’s response to Papa John:



    Papa John’s corporate headquarters: Louisville, KY

    Red Lobster: Orlando, FL

    Jimmy John’s: Champagne, IL

    Olive Garden: Orlando, FL

    Note that these places are not Seattle.

    These are not places where, when people walk into a restaurant, they go, “Excuse me, where is your chicken sourced?”

    More like: “What can I get for under $10?”

    Apparently, this fact had never occurred to President Obama when he was working out the details of the ACA. If it had, he would’ve done the smart thing and made it a little harder for companies to wriggle off the hook. That in turn would’ve ensured a level playing field for all small businesses, instead of penalizing the ones that complied with the spirit of law while rewarding those that didn’t.


    Jo, a reminder. Two years ago, I warned you that this would happen. Do you remember?

    I warned you that some employers would even dump their existing plans and throw their employees on the mercy of the government rather than taking a significant hit to their bottom line.

    Your reply: “Good. I hope they do.”

    Welp, ya got your way.



    This is a mess for sure. I have a good friend who works for a major national movie theater chain. His theater is in Bellevue. I don’t think there has been an “official” company response to ACA. But my friend was notified earlier this month that he will be cut back to 29 hours due to ACA. That’s lousy.

    Theoretically, my friend could go out and find another part-time job for 10 hours per week so he would continue to earn what he earned before ACA. But that is challenging because two part-time jobs means you could have scheduling conflicts. It’s really difficult for both employer (making schedules) and employee (juggling two employers) to make sure you’re not assigned to work at the same time/shift for each employer.

    This was a major, major failure of ACA. Employers have found a very simple way around the additional expense. So now some employees are in a *worse* position than they were before ACA. Most of these employees earn only $10/hour. Many are going to school at night or are taking care of a child. It’s going to be difficult to juggle two part-time jobs instead of one full-time job.



    DBP, I remember you saying that and I agreed.

    I also remember saying that Obamacare is designed to fail intentionally. Companies will have to make adjustments and when they do, they will be the bad guy and the gubmint will be our daddy to provide everybody’s healthcare.

    “Come to papa for more candy! Did big mean business make changes and throw you out in the cold? How unexpected! Keep voting for me and I will keep giving you candy!”

    Is this going to improve the quality and reduce the cost? Nope. Gubmint doesn’t do that. Gubmint makes it equally sh!tty for everybody.

    DBP, I hate it when you’re right.



    Make big business the bad guy will be tough to pull off – even with the media in their pocket.

    Employees will compare it to the way it was before “Obama”care and make up their own minds. He owns it. It has his name in it (which he gladly accepted during the first debate).

    And make no mistake – this is just the start. Once they hit critical mass they will all jump on board and there will be very few left to *not* boycott…….




    “Jo, a reminder. Two years ago, I warned you that this would happen. Do you remember?

    I warned you that some employers would even dump their existing plans and throw their employees on the mercy of the government rather than taking a significant hit to their bottom line.

    Your reply: “Good. I hope they do.”

    Welp, ya got your way.”

    No DBP.. the fact that they fulfilled my expectations is not getting my way…

    any more than secession would be.

    But, we both know this was a very bad compromise in the first place…

    i hope they publicize the heck out of their sour grapes refusal to make the health care policy that originated in conservative think tanks work so we can get on with the business of creating something that will.

    and in the meantime… i will continue to think globally and buy locally where business owners understand that treating their employees well creates a better experience for both the employee and the customer.

    if my goal was saving money

    i would buy something from the freezer section at my local grocery and nuke it.


    the freezer section at my local grocery provides a better pizza

    and after my trip to Venice.. both hubby and i do better pasta than i can get at Olive Garden…

    when so much good food is available at home.. why would i go out for a casual meal if not for the service?



    Anyone who wants to discuss this issue and starts with “it’s gubmit’s fault cuz they screw everything up”, has zero credibility. Medicare and Medicaid BOTH spend around 93% or more of every dollar on ACTUAL HEALTH CARE DELIVERY.

    Private, FOR PROFIT insurance only put around 65% of every dollar toward actual HEALTH CARE. The rest is their super “efficient” model of delivery and profit.

    Only GUBMIT can pool resources to a significant extent to get major discounts in prescription costs AS THEY DO WITH VETERANS CARE. Big Pharma wouldn’t allow it in ACA.

    So, if you’re worried about cost, then you HAVE to take profit out of the equation somewhere. Good luck figuring out how to do it with people who think GUBMIT can’t be the seat of control.

    Frankly, I hope that anyone with that perspective has to someday bear ALL the costs associated with any significant illness, like lots of my friends have. Does bankruptcy have to be the natural result of having a big illness?



    Smitty, JV and skeeter

    You know fellas, i am getting weary of all of this gubmint is bad bullshit.

    The heating in your homes comes to you by way of the government.

    The internet you are using to complain about the government comes to you by way of the government.

    The water you can drink from your tap comes to you by way of the government.

    The roads you drive on…

    the paid holiday you are about to celebrate

    in the safety of private and public spaces all certified safe and patrolled by the police the government provides

    the fire department you will count on to save as much as they can if your house burns down or to save yours if your neighbor’s burns down

    all of those and so many more that i could spend the next 24 hours sitting here typing away and not come to the end of the list

    come to you by way of the government.

    the very laws that keep other people from intruding on the privacy and safety of your home are provided and maintained by your government.

    In balance, you have very little to complain about.

    but.. since you persist…let me ask you

    if the Gubmint was republican would it suddenly become government and a good thing?

    Because one thing is certain,

    in spite of all the campaign promises it would increase.

    All you have to do to verify that is check US History.

    the continual repetition of mudslinging may make for ringing election rhetoric

    but as an argument.. it falls with one big squishy plop onto the palate and leaves a very bad taste.

    It’s time to get over it and get on with it.

    The big gubmint is bad obama is a muslim liberals just want to tax and spend the world into bankruptcy card was played in the last election and it lost.

    if you want to talk about what our legislators.. democrat and republican .. are doing wrong in Congress.. i am willing to talk.

    but lets have a grown-up conversation about what isn’t working, why it isn’t working and how we can fix it so that it will work…

    This notion of political robots walking lockstep into some socialist nightmare future is one of the biggest piles i have ever heard…

    and NaNaNaNaNa says more about the person repeating it than about who or what it is aimed at.

    the collective sigh of relief at the end of the campaign was abysmally short lived.



    Great point wake, you’re full of credibility!

    They have done wonders with public education too! There’s plenty if profit in that racket, but not much education.

    So is Obamacare going to reduce cost and improve quality? That is all that matters.



    JoB, for the 100th time, we never said NO government, we said limited government that stays out of areas where it doesn’t belong.

    Keep arguing with your straw man…talk about adult conversations.

    Tell us, with all of your business experience, what would you do if you ran a business and you had to make a financial decision about laying people off or cutting hours in order to keep the company afloat?



    Absolutely right and well said, JoB. It was first said in the mid 90’s and it’s even more true today.

    “Whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, the modern “conservative” isn’t the least bit interested in solving it. They are interested in two things and two things only. Making you afraid of it, and telling you who’s to blame for it.”

    And the blame usually starts with government and eventually gets around to the poor and non-whites.




    “So is Obamacare going to reduce cost and improve quality? That is all that matters.”

    if it was fully implemented, the answer to that question is yes.

    will it control costs in such a way that will bring our healthcare costs in line with the rest of the industrialized world? No.

    but it might bring out level of care in line with the rest of the industrialized world. In spite of all the rhetoric about how great American health care is…

    we have to increase our national survival statistics to meet the standards set by emerging countries.

    no straw argument there.

    if we want to further control health care costs we have to provide some mechanism for single payer whether though mandated regulated base insurance programs or through a government health system.



    OK, JV, so you say you’re good with some government but apparently not ANY publicly funded education? And what profit are you talking about in public education???

    And if you were paying attention, you might notice that all those wonderful for profit schools that have sprung up are being investigated for charging ridiculous amounts of $, getting people indebted for life, and promising jobs that they know don’t exist. But that’s all ok, right? It’s a business, education is just the “product” for sale.




    “JoB, for the 100th time, we never said NO government, we said limited government that stays out of areas where it doesn’t belong.”

    and where would that be JV?

    in business matters?

    right now our federal government subsidizes those bottom lines you revere with tax breaks and subsidies.

    should the federal government get out of that business?

    i would agree with you there.

    but where i suspect we can’t agree is the effect of regulation.

    i personally believe any industry that believes it’s immediate short term profit is more important than even the survival of the industry needs to be regulated more..not less.

    I believe that any business which accepts public bailouts at the expense of the citizens who provide those bailouts should be held accountable to the public.

    and i believe it is nothing more than pure stupidity to lower tax rates on businesses experiencing the most profitable years in their corporate history.

    raising taxes creates jobs JV…

    because at the end of the day if a businessman has the choice between investing his profit in his company or paying taxes on that profit..

    they invest every single time.

    that’s common sense speaking.. but it is also exceedingly sound business sense.

    If you could defend your position nearly as succinctly.. that would be intelligent adult conversation JV.



    Frankly, I expect that some for profit education is a reasonable thing. Just don’t give me the crap that it’s the best thing or that it isn’t subject to the same greed mentality of any other for profit business or that publicly financed education shouldn’t exist.




    for profit education has always existed in the United States…

    what is new is that the public is being expected to fund it at the expense of public education.



    I am more amazed you guys are surprised this happened. I had even mentioned that I was asked to look at this for my company of 54 employees.

    The government can’t take over something in the public market only halfway. If they were going to make something like this successful they needed a government plan, a way to keep the insurance companies from jacking up premiums and a way to keep companies from manipulating the system. The only way to do those things would have been to either regulate everything or offer tax incentives which would have increased the cost of Obama care.

    This is still a free and capitalist society and companies will always find a way to make money and not dilute margins. As soon as the government tries to regulate profitability companies will move out of the US. Companies that can’t will either fold up shop or increase costs to the consumer.

    This stuff isn’t really hard to understand. Anyone with a working knowledge of macro and microeconomics and has tried to run a business or manage one could have seen this coming a mile away.



    Agreed, JoB.

    I’m not against trying things to make the system work better. Most of our system is based on 19th century industrial German concepts built to create good little factory workers.

    And I get that a little more meritocracy within Teacher’s Unions would probably be a helpful thing. And I also suspect that paying the great teachers $150k/yr. to go to the worst schools would help as well.

    There’s room for lots of good ideas to take root, I’m just tired of hearing that public education is a lost cause…



    But I digress… :-)

    The topic was health care/ACA and people who only think that you fix things via unregulated capitalism.

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