By now you’re probably aware of the fact that many of America’s best-known fast food corporations are owned and operated by Christian conservatives. In and of itself, fine. But since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, aka. “Obamacare,” the owners of these corporations have taken turns bashing the law, while insisting that Obamacare will precipitate massive layoffs and fewer full-time hours.
Rewinding several years, the owners of Papa John’s, Denny’s, Applebee’s and other dealers in semi-edible crapola tossed around all kinds of threats about the impact of the law. Denny’s franchise owner Zane Tankel (real name) said he would hire fewer full-time employees because of the law’s employer mandate. Around the same time, evangelical conservative John Schnatter of Papa John’s threatened cut back hours in order to compensate for the allegedly punitive cost of the mandate. Along those lines, let’s back up for a second and lock down the basics of the employer mandate section of the law. The mandate requires that businesses with more than 100 employees (50 or more employees when it’s fully phased in) provide health insurance coverage for 70 percent of full-time equivalent employees (30 hours or more per week) and dependents up to age 26. Sounds reasonable for the workers, especially knowing how simple it’d be overcome the minimal increase in costs (we’ll circle back to this). Unfortunately, we’re not talking about reasonable people.
It’s important to note that Papa John’s pulled down $1.218 billion in revenue in 2011 alone, and the cost of the mandate would probably increase costs by around 0.4 percent in the near-term (but the law could actually help Schnatter’s bottom line due to healthier, happier workers missing fewer hours on the job). To repeat, that’s point-four percent in exchange for providing stronger benefits for the people who make the whole thing run.
That was 2012. Three years later… CONTINUE READING