An Obamacare Surcharge for ‘Struggling’ Businesses

Some Florida restaurants are tacking on a 1% Obamacare surcharge to their customers’ bills.  The owners claim that increased health insurance expenses have forced them to split the costs with the customer. As one restaurant warns: “The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors.”

Jonathan Chait observes that the owner doesn’t have a line item for, “say, financing the Department of Defense.”

“The main problem here is that, as an act of propaganda, this is completely self-defeating … Making the two people buying lunch fork over an additional 20 cents to cover health insurance for the restaurant’s employees … really doesn’t sound like the worst deal in the world.”

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  • fivecard

    This is silly. Restaurants have lots of expenses. Why doesn’t Gator’s Dockside itemize rent, supplies, electricity, or utility costs on their customers’ bills?

    I’m sorry, but I don’t feel the least bit bad for these restaurants. Running a successful business is hard. (If it wasn’t, then everyone would do it.) You have a lot of responsibilities. One of them, in America, if you have a big-enough company, is providing your employees with basic health insurance. The United States has an employer-based health care system. Gator’s Dockside should quit whining.

  • Lorehead

    I realize that these business owners are strong partisans of the politicians who flatter them and promise to cut their taxes, but if they think this is the best way to market a price increase, they’re really deluded.

    • Nate Holiday

      if you owned the place and payed out of pocket youd see less profits maybe even take a loss , as i did . when you own the business theres expenses that we pay that most no nothing about. its a long list.

  • marktrail

    A chili cheese dog with no bread? Really?

    • fgtayl01

      Paying 20 cents for healthcare is a bargain if they’re serving of obesity and diabetes with a side order of cholesterol.

  • Xian

    I feel sorry for Krista– stuck between the patrons and a boss who’s a fool.

    Maybe it would be best if “The costs associated with ACA compliance” *DID* ultimately close their doors. Stupid people can’t compete and the wait staff deserve intelligent bosses.

    And FWIW, if your lunch consists of Chili cheese dogs, french fries, slaw and “rib sauce” you’re REALLY REALLY REALLY going to need health insurance at some point. So maybe the patrons will emphasize with staff and the .20 cent charge?

  • Jeff May

    Shouldn’t the “ACA Surcharge” be factored in BEFORE the sales tax?

    If yes… might wanna watch out for the Florida state tax dept.

    If not, seems like a pretty gaping sales tax loophole.

    • NativeTxn

      Great catch Jeff!

      Gators is thinking small. They should charge $2 for all this food and make the surcharge $20.84. Pay a LOT less sales tax that way. 😉

  • Xian

    I love Taegan, but to truly register your discontent here’s the Yelp page for this establishment. Have fun, don’t be mean:

  • PhilSimms97

    $0.20 is needed to provide employees health care and that’s somehow unreasonable but $2.49 for ice tea is reasonable? Huh?

  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees aren’t required to offer insurance anyway. How many employees does he have?

    • Adrian Havill

      He has 11 restaurants so yes, more than 50. So what you do is incorporate each restaurant separately like so many chains do and then you have less than 50. Problem solved.

  • sherrybb

    The real question is” why this surcharge when the employer mandate does not begin til 2015? ” politics, anyone?

  • Most businesses will simply pass along the cost of ACA – ObamaCare to their customers without pointing out why yet another sudden price increase happened. Pointing out up front that this cost inflation was caused in response to new unfunded mandates and regulations imposed by Big Government (specifically, by the Democratic Party) is a good thing. I applaud Gator’s Dockside Inc. for their forthrightness, and for causing a bit of butt-hurt to Democrats.

    If more companies do the same thing, there will be more consumers aware of how the odious battering ram known as ACA – ObamaCare causes across-the-board cost increases to all businesses, therefore putting inflationary pressures on our economy, and that these cost increases will be passed along to every consumer.

    Not to mention that all of these new costs are coming right at the worst time possible: when our economy, already reeling from a recession that Mr. Obama cannot seem to help end, is further bludgeoned by his and his Party’s decision to cram more nonessential and not-Constitutionally-mandated government regulations and their associated costs down everyone’s throats.

    Democrats, especially you far-Left “progressives” who now run the once-proud Democratic Party, never do consider the lack of sustainability that will ultimately deny you your Nirvana; the seeking of some heaven-on-earth degree of sustenance and nurturing that fuels your political desires and gives you votes from the unthinking masses that you ‘Community Organize’ with the lure of ‘free’ goods and services paid for by Someone Else.

    If – no, when – this economy does collapse, you certainly will be held responsible for it, and here’s hoping you’ll find some nice hole to crawl into, for to hide your miserable faces.

    • I do not think “unfunded mandates” means what you seem to think it means.

  • If I’m in a restaurant like that, I’d ask if I could double the amount to 40 cents- as long as they assured me it would go to better health care for the employees.

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