Papa Johns reputation takes a hit over Obamacare

Per this article in Huffington Post, the Papa Johns Pizza franchises are taking a big hit in public approval over CEO John Schnatter’s public comments about how he planned to circumvent Obamacare mandates. This follows the walkback Denny’s CEO did after John Metz, a franchise owner in Florida, went ballistic over covering his employees for healthcare and vowed to charge customers extra and take the costs out of employee’s tips.

A number of fast food chains have railed against Obamacare and vowed to circumvent it by giving their employees fewer hours (so they wouldn’t qualify for coverage) or other chicanery. And this is not new–the owners of chains like Pizza Hut and McDonalds were lobbying big-time to block the Clinton healthcare reforms back in the 1990’s.

It behooves me to point out a few things here:

  • McDonalds has franchises all over Europe, including France and the Netherlands and the UK. Their employees there are insured. 
  • Papa Johns and Pizza Hut franchises in Europe have to cover health costs in their European expansion and they haven’t written off that market–they’re trying to expand.
  • Our system of health insurance is a real kick in the prairie oysters to small businesses–insurance coverage for an AppleBees fry cook probably comes close to exceeding his/her basic wage. And one-fifth of the money paid into insurance is overhead (the Obama reforms make changes in how much overhead the INSURANCE COMPANY is allowed, but hospitals still have to keep dozens of people on staff to negotiate all the special rules that each carrier imposes. And doctors and other healthcare providers spend a not-inconsiderable amount of time trying to figure out how to submit certain kinds of bills so that they’ll get paid).
  • Might I also point out that most of the EU also has MANDATORY vacation time, longterm paid family and maternity leave, and a whole host of other things American workers can only dream of. American CEO’s have decided that those costs are the cost of doing business overseas.

In closing (I could go all day on this), what the CEO’s of these companies want is NO HEALTHCARE AT ALL FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES IN THE US. They want their subsistence-wage clerks and fry-cooks to go on Medicaid (which means state and local taxpayers pick up most of the tab). And if those employees delay a trip to the doctor and end up unable to work, there are plenty more just like them waiting in line. If the employers of these workers hadn’t been so hell-bent on stopping reform altogether, maybe they would’ve pushed for single-payer, aka Medicare For All, which would end up far cheaper for them in the long run. That’s probably where we’ll end up in a few years anyway.

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