Fatburger gets faked out by Obamacare

The burger chain and other employers were already cutting staff hours in response to mandated health care before it was delayed.

By Aimee Picchi Jul 8, 2013 11:32AM

Fatburger signage is displayed at the company's outlet in Karachi, Pakistan (Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg via Getty Images)For some companies, President Barack Obama's decision to delay employer-mandated health insurance came too late to make much of a difference. 

Burger chain Fatburger and other employers had already started cutting employee hours below 30 a week, the point above which the law requires companies to provide coverage to workers, CNNMoney reported. 

"All it's doing is causing confusion (and) anxiety, and the workers are paying the price," Fatburger chief executive Andy Wiederhorn told the site.

Wiederhorn added that he had forfeited $30,000 because he had agreed to reduce the royalty fee Fatburger charges franchises, given their expected higher costs from providing health insurance to employees.

"I'm definitely getting the short end of the stick," Weiderhorn said. "We gave them the concession to save the jobs. And now the law's been delayed. We feel like we have whiplash here."

The delay, announced last week, isn't likely to result in a hiring boost, because smaller businesses are still trying to figure out how the law will work, Reuters reported. Larger employers were already on track to meet the law's mandates and aren't likely to change gears. Companies that have already cut hours or had planned to include Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) and Denny's (DENN). 

So who might benefit from the delay? Look to the law's critics, many of whom are already planning to use the extra time to build opposition. Conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity is planning TV commercials attacking Obamacare's health insurance overhaul. The group, which is partly funded by wealthy brothers Charles and David Koch, will spend more than $1 million on the TV campaign, The New York Times reported.

Republicans have started a probe into the delay, with Rep. Fred Upton, R.-Mich., saying the postponement won't bring the relief many business owners want and that the law "will never be ready for prime time." 

Most Americans won't be affected by the delay, given that only 3% of businesses come under the mandate, CNNMoney said. But for those that are, the delay only adds to the confusion. As Fatburger's Weiderhorn said, "It's very, very challenging."

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi. 

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Having the Federal Gov't control or run an entity only makes it more inefficient.   The Feds should stay out of business. Let the professionals work it.  To keep giving stuff to those that don't work or taking care of those that don't work only exacerbates the situation.


Cut welfare, cut food stamps and cut unemployment and you will find more people working and eventually feeling better about themselves.


The Federal Gov't is all about controlling people.  Let's take that control away from them.

Jul 8, 2013 12:14PM
Can someone explain to me how the Obummer administration can just change the Health Care Act on a whim with no vote or ok from somebody? How is this possible?
Jul 8, 2013 12:32PM

Imagine that. You create a law that is thousands of pages long, few if anyone read cover to cover, written by a bunch of politicians with ZERO experience in the healthcare industry and while the goal was to "help" the little guy, you end up screwing him AGAIN. Hmmmm 40 hours without health insurance or less than 30 hours without health insurance. I wonder which would I would prefer. Thanks for nothing!!!


When will people learn, the government does more help by getting out of the way than by "helping."

Jul 8, 2013 12:50PM

I wonder how many of those that had their hours cut voted for Obama. 


If they did, good for them.  They had it coming.

Jul 8, 2013 12:29PM
They are not telling the whole truth in the article.  If you company is still dumping health care, you still have to buy it yourself.  The one's being screwed are the individuals and they aren't smart enough to figure it out.  Government dumps on us again all for sake of elections.  Can't trust either party.
Jul 8, 2013 12:49PM
It is only the beginning, Obama knew what was going to happen.  That is why he delayed, he is pissing off the very people that voted for him.  Their hours are being reduced and they have to pay for their own healthcare with a lower paycheck.
Jul 8, 2013 12:48PM
Of course the workers are paying the price...sh!t rolls down hill and the little guy always gets hammered.
Jul 8, 2013 12:48PM

Whenever the government decides it should control our lives for our own good things always get worse.

Jul 8, 2013 12:47PM
Washington is spiritually sick. Obama NO care. Will not cure this'
Jul 8, 2013 12:59PM

Just goes to show you that this goofball "we" collectively put back in charge of our highest office can rally people into pounding their fists and demanding freebies, but when it comes to actually getting things done and done efficiently and well, he doesn't have a clue nor a prayer. He's a clown that plays off of people's emotions. Wait until illegal immigrants who will not require health care coverage, can be hired legally.


Wake up you schmucks! Democrats just want to control you. There is no such thing as a right to a high paying job. Not unless of course you want to give up your freedom. You choose......freedom or pampers. Now Cowboy up you mams! If we hadn't given this clown and the federal government so much power to begin with (and this goes back well before Obama), the jobs and our economy would've been back a few years ago. We'd be booming right now! Get it through your thick skulls! Jobs come when businessmen have incentive to create them. Obama has done everything to disincentivize the creation of jobs all in the name of "fairness". How long would you watch a sports match in which after one team scores it cannot score again until the other team scores first so that the game is "fair". Vibrant growth and success does not work in that environment. That is why this recovery is sooooooooooooooo slow and will continue to be. This is just one of many cases in point. Jobs are being cut back in order to feed the PIG that is this new government regulation of Obamacare! You tell me what in the hell a person who used to work 39 hours a week at $10/hr is supposed to do now with healthcare reform. Regardless of whether or not they now get "free" (Ha, because you see now how they are paying for it) healthcare, you just cut their checks by 26% from 39 hours down to 29. So instead of a gross check of $390, they just lost $100 gross per week down to $290. Way to go you incessant "freebie" simpletons! Pick up your "free" cell phone(s) at the next corner van.

Jul 8, 2013 1:11PM

So what is the message? .....we are not screwing you this year, but we will screw you next year? Thanks alot!

Jul 8, 2013 1:10PM
I hate it that you were duped by Obama Fat Burger. Don't feel bad....51% of America that voted for him were duped too!
Jul 8, 2013 1:08PM

I thought I was getting free health care. I thought we were finally getting even with the Man. I thought it would reduce the budget deficit. I thought Obama was the smartest man in the world. I thought we lived in a country with a constitution and a bill of rights. I thought I had a full time job. I thought I was a Democrat.

Just kidding......

Jul 8, 2013 1:26PM
I have only been around for a few presidents now and obama is going to go down as one of the biggest  jokes of all time.
1." No i did not sleep with that woman "
2. Bush 
3. And this guy we will still dont know everything about.

And they wonder why the 90's kids do not respect the office 
Jul 8, 2013 1:26PM
I thought PPACA (aka Obama-Care, aka Obama-Hell) was a law. How in the heck does the President change the law to change significant terms of the law, such as the postponement of the compliance effective date for businesses, without the consent of the two legislative bodies. I know that Stalin and Hitler did business like this. Someone please explain how this is happening in America.
Jul 8, 2013 1:29PM

"If you like the healthcare that you have now you will not have to change your health care insurance" - Barry Obama.

"You git free health insurance for you, yo' kids, and yo' baby-daddy too." - Barry Obama 

Jul 8, 2013 1:17PM
The only way this country has a prayer of recovering is if Zer0 is removed from the White House BEFORE his term is up. Biden may be the 2nd biggest idiot on the planet, but he at least he isn't a narcissist and he truly loves this country in his strange way. 
Jul 8, 2013 1:14PM
Businesses got a reprieve from the Obama Hell effective date backing it up a year. C'mon Barry, give us individuals a reprieve from Obama Hell too.....back the individual mandate up a year too. All of those tax increases to fund Obama Hell have already become effective. Please Dark Prince. 
Jul 8, 2013 2:11PM
Obama needs to pack his bags take his healthcare, his Gay views, his immigration plans, his crownies, and his change and move somewhere else!
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