US Restaurant Chain Estimates Obamacare Will Cause Health Care Costs To Increase 150%

Remember when we were told that Obamacare was going to make health insurance and health care more affordable and accessible?

Yeah, about that:

Our company, CKE Restaurants Inc., employs about 21,000 people (our franchisees employ 49,000 more) in Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants. For months, we have been working with Mercer Health & Benefits LLC, our health-care consultant, to identify Obamacare’s potential financial impact on CKE. Mercer estimated that when the law is fully implemented our health-care costs will increase about $18 million a year. That would put our total health-care costs at $29.8 million, a 150 percent increase from the roughly $12 million we spent last year.

The money to cover our increased expenses will have to come from somewhere. We are a profitable company and, after paying our obligations, we reinvest our earnings in the business. Reinvesting in the business is how we grow, create jobs and opportunity. This is true for most U.S. businesses.

To offset higher health-care expenses, we will have to cut spending on new restaurant construction, one of our largest discretionary spending areas. But building new restaurants is how we create jobs. An $18 million increase in our costs would more than consume the $8.8 million we spent on new restaurant construction last year, leaving nothing for growth. We will also need to reduce our general capital spending, which also creates jobs and allows us to improve our infrastructure and maintain our business. In summary, our ability to create new jobs could vanish.

Just like Romneycare drove up health care costs in Massachusetts, Obamacare is driving up health care costs in America and, in doing so, hurting the economy.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Neiman

    I don’t care if those 1%ers have to pay more, they are rich and greedy anyway; because I am absolutely sure the cost of my burgers will not be any more and they will hire even more people, right?

  • sbark

    hmmm…….a big Company has “been working for months” with Mercer to just discover this now…..??????????

    ………I’d say their mngt is wayyyyyy overpaid if this is a new revalation to them at this point,  or maybe they have the same number of golf rounds in as Obama Does………90+

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    Look for the first 100% automated fast food outlets soon.

    • Rick Olson

      You mean like the old Automat?  Whatever happened to the old Automat’s on the East Coast?  They were all over Philadelphia and New York City.  http://www.theautomat.net/

      • Sky Rider

        As a kid I remember seeing the pictures of the old Automats, But they had people cooking the food in the back. I think what Kevin is getting at would be closer to; you stop in at a fast food restaurant and you’ll find the rotating vending machine. You put in the amount you want to spend, push the button to rotate the trays to get something in front of door of the amount you chose, you open the door, pull out your food, pop it in the microwave and pretty soon you’re driving distracted down the road eating a Michele Obama approved meal.

  • factsarefacts

    This inexperienced POTUS is costing America its roots, its values, and its drive.  

    We are going to be in trouble with this guy continuing to lie to us and destroy our great country.  I hope we aren’t duped again in 2012.  

    This is one business that sees it; I hope others do as well.   

  • ellinas1

    God forbid they pay for the health insurance of all their employees.
    What is this world coming to?

    • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

      And they could easily pay for all their food, the assholes!

      • ellinas1

        The salary should be sufficient to pay for the food.

        • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

          Why bother?  Cut out the middle man.  No choice for care; no choice for food.  Insert Michelle’s programs & Voila!—health heaven! It. makes. perfect. sense.

          • ellinas1

            The people that work at Carl’s Junior and Hardee’s restaurants  with the exception of the manager have no health insurance at the moment, and none is offered.
            Your sarcasm for care choice, is unwarranted as no such choice exists now.
            Happy new year. May you be very healthy and strong, in body and mind this coming year and all subsequent years.

          • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

            You mean the part timers, including teenagers, don’t get their insurance paid for?

            Horrors  

          • ellinas1

             Why do they have full timers at their restaurants?

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            That no group health insurance for full-time employees is hard to believe.
            Of course choice exists now.  What a curious claim!
            Happy New Year!  Do not stint, the opportunity may not exist again for some time.

          • ellinas1

            The managers of the restaurants being a full time employees, do get insurance.
            The rest not so much.
            And that is what  Carl’s Junior/Hardee’s corporate honchos are worried about. Having to pay insurance for their uninsured employees. At least that is my understanding of the situation.

            I will not hold back on the celebration welcoming the New Year. Got me a good quality Tsipouro (a potent variant of ouzo), and  all the mezedes (appetizers) to go with it.
            I am ready.

          • Dakotacyr

            They would rather that we the taxpayers pay it in Medicaid and emergency room visits m
            And my insurance goes up so he and his managers can get insurance.

          • ellinas1

            Yo know it!.

          • Hal906

            ” we the taxpayers pay it in Medicaid and emergency room visit”

            It doesn’t need to be that way.  Make any health care, paid for by the taxpayers, for those who choose not to purchase health care, a loan similar to student loans that can’t be shed by bankruptcy.

          • Dakotacyr

            Well there you go, a conservative advocating a mandate to require individuals buy health insurance or face his mandate. Love it.

          • Hal906

            “for those who choose not to purchase health care”

            You clearly can’t read, or you are dishonest.  No mandate, but you are responsible for the expenses you incur.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      What the hell, the cost of a burger will only be $12.00 each.

      No one ever said libs were good at economics

      • ellinas1

        I doubt that. But if you want to eat Carl’s Junior/Hardee’s burgers you may end up paying about a couple bucks or  more per order.
        If you want to save yourself some money, fire up your grill.

        • mickey_moussaoui

          The company I retired from in 2010 has 5000 employees. They estimated, with government numbers mind you, that Obamacare would cost them an additional $60 million dollars per year to continue to offer the insurance they now have. So in other words, we either pay MUCH more for good insurance or we pay moderately more for less quality Obama insurance. Either way, no one wins.

          • ellinas1

            The insurance companies do.

        • JustRuss

          if they have to price their food out of reach to the consumer, they will have less employees instead of raising prices. Congrats on your obamanomics degree.

          • ellinas1

            If you want to eat out, you have to pay the true price of the food. The taxpayer should not subsidize you, or anyone associated with the production, marketing and sales of food whether raw and/or cooked.

  • Game

    The second they said “Obamacare” and not “health care reform” it was obvious this was motivated by politics and not fact. Anybody who believes this report does it for the same reason.

    • Hal903

      Is it really reform when it takes us in the wrong direction?  Have you noticed the trajectory to bankruptcy our country is on mainly due to entitlement spending that can’t be paid for? 

      • Dakotacyr

        Are you receiving Social Security and Medicare, Hal?

    • Hal903

       Obama, himself, said he was ok with calling it Obamacare.

  • MadMadder

    Insurance costs have always gone up, they’ve went up over the last 5 years, 10, and 20 years, all without Obamacare.

    Some corps get it, clearly this one does not…. healthier employees, makes you more money! It makes for happy workers that enjoy coming to work, they produce more and better results, they take off less time and double time when when it comes to the family.

    Of course these are math numbers excluded from the above predictions…. along with the percentages of increase on previous years and what the prediction would be without Obamacare.

    • Dakotacyr

      I deed, the Carls jr never figured out the money saved from healthier employees and and improvement in lost time.

  • I H8 GOPers

    Propaganda. A corporation, making a statement of fact, would not call it Obamacare. This is simply a corporation campaigning for the party that it owns.

  • Game

    The thing that Hardees, and their Propaganda Minster  Mercer Health won’t tell you is that may of their employees are currently costing millions of dollars to the taxpayers because rather than being on an employee sponsored plan, they are force to sign up for a taxpayer funded program or go withoutout paying thier bill (a cost that is passed on to those who do) By passing the responsibly of paying for employee health costs on to the government and the insured, they are able to make bigger profits, while at the same time driving up government spending and health costs.

    But Republicans cannot see this. They are to blinded by their anti-Obamacare beliefs to realize that companies like this and Mercer health are the very reasons that Medical care is so expensive. They cannot comprehend the fact that it is these companies driving up costs, not the big bad government.

  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    This is part of the plan to make health care so expensive that the liberals get their single payer plan.  

  • Cherz1967

    What will you liberal jacklegs say when Obamacare is implimented and all of this is proved to be true?  Will you say sorry?  Doubt it.  Obamacare is dead in the Supreme Court and dead in 2013 when the new President takes office.  If Obama is re elected there will be violance.

    • WOOF

      “violance”, maybe at your house.

      “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
      we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and
      cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that
      this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be
      done on somebody’s part! 

      • Guest

        “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

        Are you re-writing history, you moron.

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      You would first have to understand what the story means instead of simply accepting Rob’s interpretation of it.

      You don’t understand this story and what it really means.  Health care costs could have gone down, but coverage increased causing their over all dollars spent on health care to increase.

    • Dakotacyr

      I will be glad tha people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be thrown off their insurance. I am glad that 2.5 million young people have been able to stay on their parent’s health insurance. I will be glad that we all will have skin in the game.

      The only violence will be you banging your head against the wall.

  • Rick Olson

    Hardee’s is one of the most over-priced fast food places we have around here.  With the kind of money they charge customers for their food, they surely should be able to handle the rising cost of healthcare. 

    Like in most fast food places, I’m sure the majority of all workers at a Hardee’s or its sister chain, Carl’s Jr. which are located in the western third of the country; Colorado, Utah, California, etc. are all part-time workers.  Thus, ineligible for company-sponsored health care coverage because they are not full-time workers. http://www.carlsjr.com/ and http://www.hardees.com/

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Pass Obamacare and unemployment will skyrocket. You wont have a job AND you will still have to purchase Insurance from the government.
     
    We have a $4.2 trillion deficit right now. It will be larger next year.
    The total cost of all our entitlement programs is $33.8 trillion dollars.
    The total value of all companies traded on U.S. stock markets is $13.1 trillion.
    The total value of the equity in U.S. taxpayers’ homes is $6.2 trillion.
    Add it up. We are $14.5 trillion dollars in the hole.
    Now add the projected cost of Obamacare into that formula of entitlements.
     
    We all know that economics and math are foreign to liberals but this is not rocket science.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    This post is a lie.  There is nothing in this posts that says what they paid for one person’s health insurance will go up, but rather they will have to pay for more of their employees health insurance.  Because more people will be covered, health care costs per individual can go down, but the companies costs over all could go up if they were saving millions a year by not paying for their employees health insurance.

    This is good for Americans, but bad for people wishing to exploit their workers.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      Moocher. Parasite. Get a good job where your employer copays insurance and stop relying on handouts from the other tax payers

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        That’s precisely the point mickey.  Hardee’s wasn’t paying or co-paying.  Now that the law demands that they pay, they are complaining about the additional cost.

        • mickey_moussaoui

          Only you would consider flipping burgers a “good job”. That’s the real point. I suppose for you that may be true.

          A recent study by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) notes that Obamacare will “impose a cumulative cost of nearly $5,000 per family by 2020″ through increased health insurance costs as well as “reduc[ing] private sector employment by 125,000 to 249,000 jobs in 2021, with 59 percent of those losses falling on small business.”

          http://spectator.org/archives/2011/12/30/no-friend-of-the-middle-class

          A report by Oliver Wyman consulting says that Obamacare’s costs “will increase premiums in fully insured coverage markets by an average of 1.9% to 2.3% in 2014. The impacts generally increase over time such that we estimate by 2023, the fees will ultimately increase premiums by an average of 2.8% to 3.7%. For small group coverage, this well on average increase the cost to cover an individual by about $2,800, and a family by about $6,800 over a 10-year period, beginning in 2014.”

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Fewer people will work at burger restaurants and health care insurance companies will profit more.  Our healthcare system will not go bankrupt for paying for the healthcare of people who are not covered but get the treatment.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            No one said healthcare would go “bankrupt”.

             It will cost much more and the quality of service will diminish. Plus the cost of all business service will need to rise to meet the extended cost and taxation of obamacare. The price of any service is not a random, arbitrary selection. It is based on what the market will bear. When you inflate the cost of labor by forcing higher insurance premiums you affect the price of that service. Just look at Greece and you’ll see what trivial unbridled entitlement will do to an economy that is heavy in debt.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            I don’t know what you do for a living or if you even work. But if you do , you should be paid less. Just like those in the medical field who will have to compromise their income, you also should compromise your income. It’s all about being fair, right? Afterall, big government will take care of your insurance needs so you don’t need that extra cash and you most likely already get paid more than you are worth.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            “Fewer people will work at burger restaurants”

            ….that’s jobs lost …..get it?

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You mean those non-real jobs you were so critical about?  They can go work at the insurance companies who will be profiting much more with more people paying them, even if it was a lesser amount each individual pays.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            Those are jobs filled by dem voters. So no loss

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Yes, Dem voters will be leaving the “non-real” jobs you were so critical about and will move to work in healthcare, while conservatives rot working in McDondals.

            Unless of course you meant “dem” voters, because you couldn’t spell “them”.

          • Guest

            You should look at who’s working at McDonalds, it’s all the minimum wage minority dem voters.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    The Congressional Budget Office has already tallied the cost of Obamacare. It will cost everyone more.

  • bottineau bay

    Hardees is still in business?

    • JustRuss

      It isn’t really Hardees anymore, its Carl’s Jr under the “Star Hardees” name because nobody in the midwest knows what a CJ is.  I miss the OLD Hardees.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the Obamacare wavers that were gifted out by the regime. At last count some 2000 wavers have been gifted out to party loyals including some fancy restaurants in Nancy Pelosi’s district. Sorry, but if you make food in San Fran you wont be getting insurance bennies. You better quit and go work at hardees.

    lol

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