This might be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back: Papa John’s has announced that Obamacare will raise the price of American’s favorite food by as much as 14 cents.
To date, the healthcare reform law has survived a great deal — heated congressional debates, public backlash, numerous lawsuits and a groundbreaking Supreme Court decision.
But if it keeps people from getting their pizza fix, its days may finally be numbered.
“Papa” John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s International, Inc., recently announced that Obamacare will cause the chain to increase the price of its pizzas by about 11 to 14 cents per large pie.
Schnatter said that, and any other costs associated with complying with the healthcare reform law, will be passed along to Papa John’s customers.
Those comments were made in a conference call Schnatter had with company shareholders. He said the goal is to protect the interests of the company’s investors.
Most of the added costs will stem from the chain having to offer healthcare coverage to part-time employees who would not have otherwise been given access to such coverage if it wasn’t for the reform law’s individual mandate, which takes effect in 2014.
Many stores may not be impacted
The mandate says full-time employees (the law considers anyone working over 30 hours per week full-time) must be offered health insurance, or their company will be hit with a $2,000 fine for each employee, not counting the first 30 employees.
However, only businesses with more than 50 employees are on the hook for providing coverage or paying the fine.
Eighty-percent of Papa John’s restaurants are independently-owned franchises, according to ABC News. And if the franchisee employs fewer than 50 people, he or she doesn’t have to worry about complying with the mandate.
Meanwhile, the company as a whole employs more than 16,000 people. But the company did not say how many are currently uninsured nor how many will be offered coverage as a result of the reform law.
Schnatter also said in the conference call that Papa John’s, like most businesses in its industry, does not support Obamacare.
ABC also reported that once the announcement went public, Papa John’s Facebook page lit up with comments from customers saying they’d gladly pay the extra 14 cents if it meant otherwise uninsured individuals would gain coverage.