Skip to comments.How's That Obamacare Waiver Workin' Out for Ya?
Posted on 11/16/2012 4:00:12 AM PST by Kaslin
Exactly two years ago this week, the Obama administration announced it had issued more than 100 waivers en masse to a select group of companies, unions and other health insurance providers seeking relief from the onerous federal health care law. The Obamacare waiver winner's club now totals 2,000. Where are they now?
Answer: In the same miserable boat as every other unlucky business struggling with the crushing costs and burdens of the mandate.
Among the first and most prominent recipients of the Obamacare waivers for favors were large restaurant chains that provide low-wage, seasonal and part-time workers with low-cost health insurance plans called "mini-med" plans. An estimated 1.7 million workers benefit from such plans. Obamacare forced companies carrying such coverage to raise their minimum limits on coverage to no less than $750,000 annually. Another Obamacare provision forces all employers to spend at least 80 percent to 85 percent of their premium revenue on medical care.
The social justice Democrats' goal was to dictate insurance provider spending not just on coverage amounts, but also on executive salaries, marketing and other costs. The regulation punished companies with mini-med plans whose high administrative costs were due to frequent worker turnover and relatively low spending on claims -- not "greed." Complying with the provision would have meant tens of thousands of low-income workers would lose their benefits altogether.
Darden Restaurants, the Florida-based parent company of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster and other chains, was a member of the Obamacare waiver early bird special. Their get-out-of-Obamacare card helped spare the company's health insurance benefits for nearly 34,000 employees. Breathing a sigh of relief that it would allow chains to continue offering all employees access to affordable health insurance, Darden said in a statement in the fall of 2010 that "the waiver allows us to continue to do that as the various phases of the health care law are implemented."
Fast-forward to 2012. Darden announced last month that it would begin shifting full-time workers to part-time status to save money, cut health costs and circumvent Obamacare's coverage mandate scheduled for full implementation in 2014. The move would reduce full-time employees' hours to less than 30 hours a week; part-time workers are exempt from the insurance mandate. McDonald's, another big Obamacare waiver recipient, is considering the same move.
In fact, a survey of members of the Chain Restaurant Compensation Association (CRCA) conducted last year by Hay Group reported that a whopping 77 percent of "quick serve" restaurant operators said they were considering reducing employee hours to change their status from full-time to part-time. At least one Denny's restaurant franchise owner in Florida is cutting hours and has openly contemplated an Obamacare surcharge. Jimmy John's and Papa John's are also slashing work hours. Applebee's is mulling a freeze on both hiring and expansion.
"There's no such thing as a free lunch" is a race-neutral truth. But economically illiterate Obama supporters have now called for boycotts of these businesses and accused them of vengeful "racism" against the president. Instead of sympathy and gratitude for private businesses trying to do right by their workers, customers and shareholders, the corporate-bashers inundated Twitter this week with profanity-laced condemnations of the restaurant service industry. One protester tweeted: "@Applebees Your CEO is a racist piece of (redacted), he not hiring because Obama was elected...U WILL LOSE CUSTOMERS."
"Red Lobster, Olive Garden (are) using Obama re-election as an excuse to deny employees benefits and living wages," Jon Marquis fumed.
Twitter user Daphine Walker sent unhinged, ungrammatical messages to Red Lobster and Olive Garden in all-caps: "I WILL NEVER SPEND ANOTHER CENT ON THIS RACIST COMPANY WHO DOESNT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THEIR EMPLOYEES."
The CEO of Red Lobster and Olive Garden is black. But no matter. Regardless of the actual facts, economic realities and entirely predictable and inevitable consequences of command-and-control government mandates, it's always about identity politics for the Obama grievance mob. In good times and bad, the left never grants waivers from the race card.
Some woman on Red Eye last nite, said something to the effect that Papa John should stop complaining about zerocare and pay the premiums. They can do this by not giving away free pizzas and stop donating to certain organizations.
I thought obamacare was supposed to be good for people, “the” answer to their healthcare hopes and dreams. If it is, then why is Congress exempt, and why is obama giving waivers from his signature work to friends and allies? Why would he be denying them such a boon as obamacare? Unless of course, as we all know, obamacare is a free enterprise-killing, big government expansion into controlling ever more of or lives and resources. It has nothing to do with healthcare - that is just a means to it’s ends.
We have an large part of the population that believes in “free”.
Probably graduated from the obama school of applied economics.
What about the big waiver given to 0’s co-religionists? Where’s the outrage?
I got an email from the owner of the company I work for the other day regarding our Blue Cross premiums.
The increased hit to the organization is $364,000.00 for just next year. We have 53 employees. You do the math.
The math is... 4 people are getting laid off.
Four employees need to get busy with razor blades. Scrape those Ob/Biden/Forward stickers off now.
Dump the ones who voted for obama.
There are far too many people out there who think that businesses are just bottomless pits of money, and that employers keep wages and benefits low simply because they don’t want to share.
Here’s a tip for the outraged lefties — if you think these business owners are doing so wrong, why don’t you start up a business to compete with them and pick up the customer base you believe they’re shedding? Prove that your way works better by actually doing it, not by bitching about the people who actually have a bottom line to look after.
Since the Supreme Court determined obiescare was permissible because it is a tax, I don’t know where this administration believes it has the authority to grant waivers for payment of a legitimate tax. Are there any other taxes for which this administration believes it can grant waivers? What are the circumstances upon which one may seek a waiver from a tax?
In my experience, liberals hate private donations to private charities,
because it lessens their god. They don’t use those words, but you can just feel the religious zealotry when they explain how private charity usurps the role of government.
I absolutely agree that liberalism is a religion that worships big government.
WE WANT OUR FREE LUNCH, AND WE WANT IT NOW!!!!
My insurance goes up $300 a month in January. I’m retired with no pension. Time to look for a job I think.
There was an op-ed in WSJ today saying that Romney was wrong about losing Hispanics to OBAMACARE. Exit polls or whatever show that 53% are concerned about the economy, only 14% about healthcare. I just don’t believe it. Romney’s campaign strategy aside, anyone paying a lick of attention could see that R/R would be better for the economy. Something was going on in those voters minds to make such a dumb choice.
I often like Michele Malkin’s stuff.
But maybe we should help the twitterverse out.
How about twitters regarding how the workers have been mislead by the administration, really that is the core of the matter isn’t it?
The law is unaffordable to businesses and it will be even more unaffordable to the government.
When you concede the largest issue of this election - you lose. Simple as that. The GOP decided in March that it was not interested in contesting this election.
When you find one, Obama will take credit for creating it.
Grasping at straws.
Your posting brings out the huge economic knowledge disparity between the makers and the takers. This Nation has become one with more takers than makers. Call it wealth distribution, socialism, or whatever, without a healthy amount of makers a society’s life drys up. I believe that we are not to far from a tipping point where/when the takers will be fighting among themselves for what is left to take.
Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business after striking workers failed to heed a Thursday deadline to return to work, the company said.
Living in a rural area, we have only 3 fast food joints. The food is overpriced and ranges from disgusting to awful.
The 2 best take-away options are fried chicken from the convenience store chain or a rotisserie chicken from Walmart. The Chinese restaurant is so-so, but they do well w/portions large enough to share and a buffet (from which you can takeout, paying by the pound) both at an affordable price.
There is an increase in small mom & pop restaurants. I don’t know their politics, but given the voting patterns here, some must be owned by 0 voters. They offer everything from American diner fare to pizza and wings, plus a couple of trendy, more up-scale places that compete w/the one large traditional family-owned restaurant. Some have made a living for the past 4 years. Not mega bucks, but a family living.
It may be the end of the national chain of standardized frozen and microwaved offerings. The model just no longer works and the food has deteriorated in quality over the last 10 years. When McD’s for 2 averages around $16, there is room for local competition. However, the real bottom line killer, from what I am told, isn’t health insurance, since these places only have a few waitstaff, it is property, accident and liability insurance. It has already put one place out of business that I know of.
That pressure on congress will give way to single payer, it won’t reverse anything.
$6868 per employee ave for year.
$572 a month average.
Not long from now, we will all be discussing ‘the good old days’ when our employers gave us a decent health benefit at a reasonable cost.
Keep in mind that thousands of doctors and other health care workers are going to quit under Obamacare.
I’m waiting for the next show to drop: I expect:
Companies won’t be able to deduct Obamacare costs from their gross income as a normal business expense.
Same with Medicare. What's so good about a health insurance plan that requires you to buy supplemental insurance for what Medicare doesn't cover? Of course, this feature keeps AARP in business.
These idiots will continue to praise obama as the greatest president in history while they’re rummaging through fast food restaurants’ garbage cans looking for food.
Instead of want ads reading “with benefits” they’ll say “with government benefits”.