Five Companies who are not thrilled about Obamacare
Aug 28th, 2013
This time last year Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter made waves after he announced his opposition to Obamacare saying that the legislation would force his company to raise prices and lay off employees.
With a net worth of over $600 million, Schnatter’s comments were quickly seized upon and what followed was a harsh public backlash. After public opinion of the company dropped through the floor and President Obama won reelection, Schnatter backpedaled on much of his previous statement. He attempted to clarify things with a featured blog post on the Huffington Post.
But Schnatter is hardly alone among business owners voicing their opposition to Obamacare. As we get closer and closer to the implementation date of the law’s major provisions on Jan. 1, 2014 (minus the employer mandate), unhappy businesses are get louder and louder in their opposition. Let’s take a look at a few.
Vocal Obamacare Opponents
1. Regal Cinemas
Back in April Regal Cinemas announced that they would be reducing the hours of thousands of their non-salaried workers at locations across the country. The company, which made a profit of $334 million in 2012, put the blame for the move squarely on Obamacare.
According to the Obamacare legislation, anyone working at least 30 hours a week is considered to be a full time employee and is mandated to receive health insurance benefits under Obamacare’s employer mandate. Of course the implementation of the employer mandate has now (as of July 2013) been delayed until 2015.
Regal’s move to slash hours at its more than 500 locations nationwide seems to be a common move for service sector businesses. The company’s move is made even more poignant by CEO Amy Miles $4.5 million paycheck in 2012, an increase of $3.4 million from 2011.
2. Whole Foods
With such a hippy/happy planet themed company you might be surprised to find whole foods on this list, but believe it or not Whole Foods CEO John Macky is no fan of sweeping health care reform legislation. Back in January of this year in an interview with NPR Macky voiced his unhappiness when asked about Obamacare:
“Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”
Macky’s commented followed an op-ed piece he penned for the Wall Street Journal penned by Macky in the summer of 2009 in which he describes what his approach would approach to fixing American health problems.
Walmart is the U.S.’s single largest private employer with about 1.3 million employees. Back in 2009 Walmart CEO Mike Duke signed a letter to President Obama urging the president to move forward with his quest for health care reform citing how important health care is for his company and its employees.
However last year the company backed away from that stance. Instead of supporting expanded health insurance for its workers, it instituted new rules aimed at limiting employees’ eligibility for insurance benefits. Now any worker hired on or Feb. 1, 2012 is subject to an “Annual Benefits Eligibility Check” to see if they averaged the required 30 hours per week that would require the company to give them health insurance. And since the company is fairly heavy handed in controlling workers’ hours…well I think you can see where this is going.
4. Carl’s Junior
Carl’s Junior might not be so well known over here in New York, but that doesn’t mean we’re not salivating about it when we see the famous burger franchise featured in TV and films. But Andy Puzder the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the company that owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s is not a fan of Obamacare.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Puzder expressed his frustration with Obamacare by talking about the struggle him and his team are going through trying to come up with a game plan to deal with the legislation. On Fox News Puzder said he believes it’s hard to see how Obamacare will work.
UPS has been in the headlines a lot this past week or so after they announced plans to slash health benefits for workers’ spouses who are eligible to receive health insurance through their own jobs. More than 15,000 spouses of the company’s workforce are expected to lose coverage because of this measure.
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