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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

S.A. restaurant owners say 'Obamacare' comes with side of hardship

Posted by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 7:42 AM
  • 54 Replies


SAN ANTONIO -- It will bring much-needed health care to 30 million more Americans, and the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," goes into full effect in 2014.

But local restaurants say it may cost jobs.

At a local Jim's Restaurnat, Karen Marcil makes sure the eggs are cooked to order for customers at table 6. But it’s not just food that Marcil provides -- It’s service with a smile, for nearly 32 years.

“Every day’s different. My customers are great. I have lots of regulars who ask for me,” Marcil said.

So what if instead of being served by a friendly waitress, your favorite omelet or cup of coffee was delivered cafeteria-style? Or from a vending machine? On an electronic menu?

It may be coming as local restaurants prepare to pay for mandated health care for employees starting in 2014.

“Many of us are left out there hanging, so to speak, in a holding pattern, because we don’t know,” said Jimmy Hasslocher, the owner of Jim’s Restaurants.

His local chain has 1100 employees, which is enough to trigger mandatory health insurance for full-time employees -- one of the rules in the Affordable Care Act.

Hasslocher said there’s a slim profit margin in food sales, so something’s going to have to give. And it just may be his full-time employees.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week do not qualify for a company’s mandated health care.

And that thought is crossing the minds of business owners across Texas.

“Our priority is to keep open, keep as many jobs as we can, and impact our employees’ lives as little as we can,” said Allen Tharp, the owner of several Olde England's Lion and Rose British Restaurant and Pubs across San Antonio.

Tharp is holding monthly meetings with his managers and accountants. "Obamacare" is a serious threat to his business, Tharp said.

Once the law is fully implemented, one full-time employee who isn’t covered by a company health plan can lead to federal fines approaching $2 million dollars.

His staff is looking at strategies to keep their restaurants’ doors open. Making everyone a part-time employee looks enticing, but the pubs’ wait staff, bus boys and bartenders worry that fewer hours means fewer tables and fewer tips.

“And I need that. So I guess my main concern would be paying rents, paying for food, groceries, gasoline, all of that,” Jane Clare Vosteen said.

Vosteen is a college graduate who's waiting tables until she establishes a career. At the age of 23, she is still covered under her parents’ health insurance plan, also thanks to "Obamacare."

Members of the Texas Restaurant Association say they have attorneys combing over the Affordable Care Act, looking for guidance.
 
For now, restaurateurs say the law comes with a hefty side order of economic hardship.
 
“My father worked to build this business, only to have the government come in with a mandate and bankrupt your company for all practical purposes,” Hasslocher said.

source

by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 7:42 AM
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Replies (1-10):
candlegal
by Judy on Nov. 19, 2012 at 7:43 AM
3 moms liked this

I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that this conversation is going on in cities all over the country.

jcrew6
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 8:38 AM

I have a friend getting their masters in hospitality mgt.  electronic menu's at tables in the age of iPad is more of a reality.  

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 8:41 AM
2 moms liked this

 Well, these greedy business owners are just going to have to get over it....Obama won........

IMHO...by voting for Obama people voted for this....may they enjoy the consequences.

lga1965
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 8:48 AM
1 mom liked this

 The Affordable Care Act....

Anyway, only disgruntled Republicans appreciate or discuss this topic. It has been settled. He won. Get used to it.

 We democrats are happy about the ACA ...and the restaurant owners can just stop whining. Poor babies.

Claire-Huxtable
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 8:58 AM
2 moms liked this

No, you will be whining if he has to let people go or reduce their hours because he can't afford the ACA.

Profit margins for restaurants are very small,

Quoting lga1965:

 The Affordable Care Act....

Anyway, only disgruntled Republicans appreciate or discuss this topic. It has been settled. He won. Get used to it.

 We democrats are happy about the ACA ...and the restaurant owners can just stop whining. Poor babies.


jcrew6
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 9:01 AM
5 moms liked this


Quoting lga1965:

 The Affordable Care Act....

Anyway, only disgruntled Republicans appreciate or discuss this topic. It has been settled. He won. Get used to it.

 We democrats are happy about the ACA ...and the restaurant owners can just stop whining. Poor babies.

Wow.  This is a legitimate business issue and you have spoken like someone with blinded, partisan ignorance.  Expect local restaurant chains to be hit the hardest.  

Billiejeens
by Gold Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Barack Obama just wants everyone to have good food!

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

No, you will be whining if he has to let people go or reduce their hours because he can't afford the ACA.

Profit margins for restaurants are very small,

Quoting lga1965:

 The Affordable Care Act....

Anyway, only disgruntled Republicans appreciate or discuss this topic. It has been settled. He won. Get used to it.

 We democrats are happy about the ACA ...and the restaurant owners can just stop whining. Poor babies.

 


Aislinn
by Silver Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 9:18 AM


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Well, these greedy business owners are just going to have to get over it....Obama won........

IMHO...by voting for Obama people voted for this....may they enjoy the consequences.

 So, when you are sitting on your ass because those greedy business owners shut their doors, remember, OBAMA WON! Most of the idiots who "voted for this" have no clue it is not even a single payer system. They are now finding out they will have to pay and pay dearly. 

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 9:19 AM
3 moms liked this

Restaurant owners should be glad they aren't required to pay minimum wage like the rest of the country.

Waaah waah, i have to pay my employees, waaaah waaaah.

Billiejeens
by Gold Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Quoting Aislinn:


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Well, these greedy business owners are just going to have to get over it....Obama won........

IMHO...by voting for Obama people voted for this....may they enjoy the consequences.

 So, when you are sitting on your ass because those greedy business owners shut their doors, remember, OBAMA WON! Most of the idiots who "voted for this" have no clue it is not even a single payer system. They are now finding out they will have to pay and pay dearly. 


I am fairly certain that she was being sarcastic
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