Unintended Consequences of Bad Ideas

>> Friday, November 16, 2012

Florida Denny's, Dairy Queens, Putting 
'Obamacare Surcharge' on Bill 

Thursday, 15 Nov 2012
Bill Hoffman

Financial fallout from Obamacare will spur dozens of eateries in South Florida to tack a five-percent surcharge onto all meals, one restaurant mogul says.

John Metz — who runs 40 Denny's and Dairy Queens and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise — says his business will be hit hard by the January 2014 start of President Barack Obama’s healthcare mandate.

And his only alternative is, “I’ve got to pass on the cost to the customer,’’ he told the Huffington Post.

When patrons see they have to cough up a five-percent surcharge, one possibility is they could end up reducing the amount of the tip they leave for their server.

In addition, Metz will reduce the hours of his employees.

“I think it's a terrible thing. It's ridiculous that the maximum hours we can give people is 28 hours a week instead of 40,’’ the West Palm Beach businessman said. “It's going to force my employees to go out and get a second job.'’

Metz plans to hold meetings at his restaurants next month to tell his staffers of the upcoming changes.

Obamacare will make businesses or franchises with more than 50 workers to offer a government-approved insurance plan.

Either that or they will have to pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker in businesses with more than 30 workers.

Other restaurant chains including Papa John's, Olive Garden and Red Lobsters have already announced that they will have to reduce employees’ hours.

Despite the potential turmoil to Americans’ wallets, a recent poll for Kaiser Health Tracking found 43 percent Americans had a favorable opinion of Obamacare as opposed to 39 percent against it.

The decision to tack on an Obamacare surcharge has caused plenty of reaction on Twitter, such as MPH Unlimited, who wrote: "Denny's to feature new 'Obabam Slam', you order one meal but you have to pay for every Taker currently waiting in the restaurant."

Only 43% of Americans have a favorable view of Obamacare. Just a few months ago some 63% of Americans wanted the law repealed and replaced with something more sensible. But 43% is hardly a majority, and of that number how many would rather see the law rebuilt altogether?

Here's the problem. Government hacks on both sides of the political fence routinely write and manage to pass bills that sound good on paper but strike a cacophony of discordant notes in implementation like, as detailed above:

  • Surcharges for services
  • Redefinition of 'full-time' work hours

Don't believe for a moment that additional surcharges at restaurants will be the only unintended consequence of the implementation Obamacare. The cost of everything is going to go up (I'd add "at least for a time," but the truth is, 'for a time' simply means 'that space between implementation and the moment when everyone gets used to the 'New Normal''), and stay up for the foreseeable future.

Making this even harder is the unintended consequence of the redefinition of 'full-time' hours. With everything costing more, people will soon have less money to throw around, unless they take on second-- and even third -- jobs to make ends meet. Law makers will likely then see the need to raise the minimum wage, which will in turn create even more problems.

In short, Americans are going to have to learn to live with less. And they'll learn to grow bitter about it. People almost always grow bitter over long periods of drought; especially of the financial and personal liberty variety. And their bitterness will inevitably be misdirected toward those people and enterprises who are themselves victims of Obamacares' unintended consequences.

In order to save themselves financially, many businesses will cut back on the number of employees they employ or raise their price point to cover the added cost of Obamacare, as well as cut everyone's hours, forcing most people to jump onto the 'government health plan' rolls... which was government's intention all along... to create more government dependents, thereby bolstering the rolls of the ne underclass-- the new Slavery.

Universal health care is not a bad idea.

Let me say that again. Universal health care is not a bad idea. The bad ideas are all in the implementation. Force enough people onto the government roll and more than a few private insurance outlets will shrivel up and clatter down the road like so many dead leaves in winter. Meanwhile, none of our congressmen or senators will have to be burdened with the hassles of government run healthcare-- of Obamacare --or the indignities it will foist on everyone else who can't afford a private insurance plan.


Jim November 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM  

Once again you demonstrate that you don't know what you are talking about.

First of all, congressmen and Senators BY LAW are subject to Obamacare. Funny thing. They've been essentially on Obamacare for decades. They get healthcare through exchanges which allow them to choose the coverage they want as long as that coverage meets ACA requirements. This is what the state exchanges are being set up to do according to ACA requirements.

There is no "government roll". ACA is not a government program. It is a set of rules by which private insurers, private hospitals, private care providers, and private drug companies operate in order to provide near universal coverage without limitations of pre-existing conditions, etc.

Did you notice the private insurers part? They are the ones who provide coverage. The exception is Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA, as it has been for decades.

Businesses have been adding surtaxes forever. Like for increased transportation costs due to high gasoline prices.

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