August 07, 2012

Companies That Contribute To Health Problems Forced To Contribute Money to Healthcare

If you'll allow me to grossly oversimplify some complex issues to for a moment, I'd like to talk about this story from HuffPo: Papa John's Pizza To Raise Prices Because Of Obamacare, CEO John Schnatter Says
Papa John's CEO John Schnatter says that Obamacare will result in a $0.11 to $0.14 price increase per pizza, or $0.15 to $0.20 cents per order, Pizza Marketplace, a trade publication, reports.... 
The company, which is the third-largest pizza takeout and delivery chain in the United States, will have to offer health care coverage to more of its 16,500 total employees or pay a penalty to the government.... 
McDonald’s also expects Obamacare to cost each of its 14,000 franchises between $10,000 and $30,000 annually, according to Businessweek.
Okay, I get it. That's a lot per franchise. But that's kind of a misleading way to look at it, because it's only, like, $200 or $300 per employee per year—and, Jesus, if McDonald's can't afford an extra few hundred dollars per employee to ensure that, when they get burned by the deep-fat fryer, they can actually go to the hospital, the economy's in a lot more trouble than we thought. Besides $10,000 to $30,000 is probably the cost of one employee per franchise, and frankly I bet a lot of the existing employees would be happy to let go Chuck and pick up the slack if it meant affordable health insurance.

Speaking of oversimplification, yeah, I know, fast food companies don't kill people, guns poor dietary choices do, and it's not really fair to blame obesity rates on Papa John's or McDonald's or whoever, even if obese individuals clearly go to town on the pizza a little too often. But I figure, if you're going to prey on my weak willpower by sending those coupons to my house each week, the least you can do is pay for my blood pressure medication. 

Oh, and one more thing: paying for health insurance for low-income workers by effectively putting a surcharge on low-cost food is kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul, no? And don't tell me "the government should keep it's nose out, then," because (a) there are other ways to pay for that shit, and (b) portraying corporate profit-seeking and providing healthcare to as many people as possible as nothing more than a zero-sum economic problem is kind of gross and evil. I believe there also ethical reasons why providing healthcare to your employees is a good thing.

But you know what the worst part is about this whole thing? Now I just want a goddamn slice of pizza.

1 comment:

Claire said...

MoJo has a good article about White Castle's similar claims about PPACA, and why they are bull
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/will-obamacare-kill-white-castle?

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