Would you pay your waiter's medical bill?

A new survey shows that people seem to be OK with paying more at a restaurant so employees can get health insurance.

By Kim Peterson Feb 26, 2013 6:12PM
Image: Care -- Moxie Productions/Blend Images/Getty ImagesIt's becoming quite clear that restaurant owners want nothing to do with the extra costs that come with Obamacare. So would customers be willing to cover employees' health costs?

Many of them say yes. According to a survey released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling, about 54% of voters say they would pay more at a restaurant so that employees could have health insurance. Some 30% of voters said they would not pay more.

More Democrats were willing to pay than Republicans. About 72% of Democrats said they would pay more, while 19% said they would not. Among Republicans, 41% said they would pay more and 38% said they would not.

As it turns out, Democrats and Republicans have pretty different opinions when it comes to food in general. Here's what they said:

Breakfast. Democrats like bagels and croissants, while Republicans prefer doughnuts.

Fast-food chicken. Democrats like KFC and Republicans like Chick-fil-A.

Vegans. Democrats are fine with vegans, while Republicans have a more negative impression of them.

Olive Garden as "a quality source of authentic ethnic food." Both parties are fairly split on this one, but more Republicans agreed with this while more Democrats did not.

Coke vs. beer. The majority in both parties said Coke was better.

Fast food. Here, both parties are exactly the same. Democrats and Republicans both have a 41% positive opinion of fast food versus a 49% negative impression.

Democrats prefer regular soda and Republicans like diet.

OK, this poll is rather silly, but you can see the full results here.

More on moneyNOW

Feb 27, 2013 12:28PM
I have a simple idea...   Alll Employers should drop healthcare coverage.  Let the employees buy it on their own like they do most of their other insurance.  Then since the employers are not in the business, switch the Obamacare penalties to the employee as well...

Feb 27, 2013 11:51AM
I look forward to Democrats tipping 40% so that the servers can buy their own insurance.  Liberals have repeatedly shown how generous they are with other people's money.  I'm enthusiastically waiting to see how generous they are with their own.
Feb 27, 2013 11:07AM
These days, it seems that people would like to pay more for everything: more taxes, more for the gas, more for the waiters, more nobama care etc...etc... Well, i am not so fortunate and don't have extra money  to waste through the window like that. As all prices are rising everywhere, i have to consider that the future may not be so rosy, and better keep some eggs in my basket, just in case...
Feb 27, 2013 11:01AM
The way I see it, we pay one way or the other, whether it's in the form of higher restaurant bills to cover the costs of Obamacare, or higher taxes and hospital bills when their kids qualify for CHIP or when the hospital charges all of those with insurance more to cover the costs of those who cannot pay.  Providing the uninsured with a direct subsidy seems more rational than what we're doing. 
Feb 27, 2013 9:26AM
I agree that everyone should have access to reasonably priced health care, but why single out one industry and in that industry, the restaurant owners do not even have to pay regular minimum wages to the wait staff, relying on the customer to pick up the rest of the wage through tips. now they want to pass the buck again to the consumer. The majority of the customer service businesses do not even get tips. And do not get me started on automatic gratuity. Tipping was meant for a compliment and acknowledgement to great service, not as an expected part of the bill.
Feb 27, 2013 1:14AM
Why is it that you would NOT want those working tables to be able to get health insurance.  It's a job that has to be done.  If you argue that the restaurant will lose some business, so let those waiters and waitresses suffer rather than take care of health problems in the wealthiest nation on earth, I have to wonder about your humanity.  By the same argument, the restaurants would make even more money by building worker shacks on a back lot and paying them $1/hr.  Where do you draw the line?  EVERY advanced nation on earth provides universal health care EXCEPT the USA.  EVERY major Conservative, anti-socialist Party in EVERY major nation on earth is in favor of universal health care EXCEPT the GOP of the USA.  They know it's not only the right thing to do as human beings, it increases worker productivity the same way universal education does.  The USA decided that insurance through employers is the main way for insurance to be provided.  If you don't want restaurants to provide it, then tell your Congressmen to do what SHOULD really be done: extend Medicare to the entire population.  It's 16% LESS costly for the same level of insurance as private insurance because it only has 4% overhead and gets better pricing because of size.  If ALL Americans were insured by Medicare costs would drop even more.
Feb 27, 2013 12:27AM
people are so bias these days. they should just eliminate the party system cuz people treat it as an instruction guide on how to live their life.
Feb 27, 2013 12:07AM
The sales process is the sales process! Always has been and always will be. It's the customer's job to get what they want at a satisfactory price and it's my job to create the desire for my product and convince them my price is fair. Cars are hard because there are so many places top get so many different models. It can be very time-consuming.
Feb 26, 2013 9:37PM
Waiters: Pay your own way through life.
Feb 26, 2013 8:42PM
what's with everybody and obamacare we pay there wages already. food places wants us to pay there workers wages thru tips for they only get paid enough to get to and from. Cause it anyone thinks that $2.75/hr is a living wage you better not eat out anymore. So why don't these lazy as owners pay min. wages like all the rest that serve food and let the tips wage go free. Cause we have to pay it anyway or the place would not have workers.
Feb 26, 2013 8:21PM
How much are we talking about here?   Didn't Papa John says it would increase the cost of each pizza sold by like 19 cents??   I'd pay an extra 19 cents.  And Im severely Republican!
Feb 26, 2013 8:12PM
When I get decent health care coverage, I won't object to paying a little more to help others get it.  I'm working.  I should get it first as all workers should get it.  Next down the list should be part time workers.  LAST on the list should be the poor people who are not working and never intend to work.  This country is as* backward.  The first people to get free medical care are the people who don't work and feel entitled to NEVER work.  The people that work have to pay for it even if they don't have medical insurance or crappy coverage.  That's why we're pissed off.  We don't feel sorry for the poor people.  Why should they and their children get to go to the dentist and the optician when we and our children cannot afford to?  This just does make sense to anybody except the advocates for the poor.  They ar3e better off than we are.  I call BULLcrap.
Feb 26, 2013 7:59PM
I would love to know where and who did this research. what a waste of time and money.
Feb 26, 2013 7:48PM

why do we tip?  for service .. not for paying their salary.  the resturant should be paying a live able salary not trying to include the tips as part of their paycheck.  i give a tip i expect service.  this is not to be taken as part of the salary.

this should be extra for the servers.

the owners are to pay a live able wage. 

Feb 26, 2013 7:29PM
How could a liberal say no to that question, it would contradict the Holy Obama and his mandate!
Feb 26, 2013 7:20PM
Saying you'll do it and  actually doing it are two very different things.  Liberals have a bad habit of saying one thing and doing another.  Gore on the environment, Obama on health care reform, etc.
Feb 26, 2013 7:09PM
Had no idea they had any accreditation....

Pushing more bad paper than mortgage brokers (that's tough to do, folks).

Feb 26, 2013 7:02PM

It's too much fun to do it at home. And lord only knows, it always tastes better than the crap at restaurants. Glad I had years of high-end restaurants on expense accounts. Now, stay-at-home is twice as sweet.



Feb 26, 2013 6:58PM
Sure the 54% said they would be willing to pay more when they go out to a restaurant. The only thing is when the price becomes so high, they just won't go out and the restaurant loses business. If you have budgeted $100 a month to eat out and  see a movie, it used to cost $70 with the tip a couple, and $30 for the movie and snack bar. Now it costs $10 more to eat out, now you can either blow the budget or skip a couple of  meals out  a year. Don't worry, the movie and snack bar prices will most likely be outpacing your salary because the consumer will have to pick up the tab for additional health care costs. Also, if your employer decides to pay the penalty and forces you to the exchange to select from a limited number of overpriced health care options, you will have even less discretionary income to spend on trips to the restaurant and the like!!
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