Dunkin' takes shot at modifying Obamacare

The company is lobbying the government to narrow the Affordable Care Act's definition of 'full time,' which would mean fewer employees for it insure.

By Aimee Picchi Feb 20, 2013 1:24PM

File photo of a Dunkin' Donuts Inc. store in Midtown Manhattan (© Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)The question of who counts as a full-time worker is coming under fire from Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), which wants the government to narrow its definition under Obamacare. That's because it wants to avoid paying health insurance for Dunkin' Donuts employees who work as little as 30 hours a week.

Dunkin' Brands is lobbying the government to change the U.S. Affordable Care Act's definition of "full-time" to employees working at least 40 hours a week, instead of the 30 hours currently written into the law, Chief Executive Nigel Travis told the Financial Times

The latest volley from an iconic U.S. business comes as the ACA is set to go into effect next year. The law will require employers with 50 or more full-time employees (30 hours or more) to offer those workers "minimum essential" healthcare insurance. 

Dunkin' Brands, which also owns Baskin-Robbins, operates on a franchise model. The parent company, excluding workers at its company-owned restaurants, employed more than 1,120 people at the end of 2011, according to its annual report.

But the real benefit would likely go to Dunkin's franchisees, who operate more than 10,000 Dunkin' Donuts locations and almost 7,000 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. 

Other big businesses are lashing out at the costs of the plan. Supermarket chain Kroger (KR) told the FT that some companies might decide to pay the government-mandated penalty for failing to insure employees simply because it's cheaper than buying insurance. 

Small-business owners are also reacting. As previously reported by MSN moneyNOW, one Wendy's franchise in Nebraska is cutting back the hours of non-management employees to avoid paying health benefits. The local franchise vice president said his company couldn't afford to pay for health insurance and instead is cutting hours of about 100 Wendy's workers. 

Other businesses are keeping their employee count under 50, the FT notes. 

The average cost to employers of providing insurance for a single worker is $4,664 and $11,329 for a family, the FT notes, citing the Kaiser Family Foundation. The penalty for not insuring employees under Obamacare, meanwhile, is $2,000 per worker. 

"If you look through the economics of the penalty the companies pay versus the cost to provide coverage, the penalty's too low, or the cost of coverage is too high, or the combination is wrong," Kroger Chief Executive David Dillon told the newspaper. 

More on moneyNOW

Feb 20, 2013 10:22PM

i am indepence but what obama try to do here is destroying USA, in ASIAN country there is no health care ( none) , so every one need to work for there own health care fee. but every one get full time job and happy. all business boomming now.

every one who vote for obama will pay for his leader (obama) fail policy. and finnaly more low income people even more low income or none cause of the job hours cut. I have a business in USA . I put every one on part time base now ( less then 30 hours ). save money for business survival. my buisness at asian , i put every one under contract yearly ( almost like independence contarctor) worker pay there own health care and benefit and tax.

Feb 20, 2013 10:17PM
LOL... The Muslim Monkey's big plan conked out before it left the garage...
Feb 20, 2013 10:16PM
ohbumma care is for a socialist republic, not the USA.  throw the bum out of washington.  Hell, throw him out of the country.  he can go back to kenya with his relatives...
Feb 20, 2013 10:15PM
Stalin could not have done better !
Feb 20, 2013 10:15PM
Welcome To O- UR  FU --EDCARE  - Congrats Obama Supporters Hope You Get What You Voted For - A Great BIG OBAMA SCRE-ING !
Feb 20, 2013 10:10PM

As a business owner, I solved the health insurance problem 15 years ago (after constant premium increases that employees never recognized the cost of).  I cut out health insurance, gave all my employees a raise equivalent to the health insurance that they just lost and told them to buy health inurance with it , or food, or clothes, or beer....    Just don't ever ask me for health insurance fringes ever again - their choice and no longer my responsibility.


Wise up America, just because someone is in business doesn't mean they can abosrb all their employees personal costs - nor should they.


If my pay level is so low  why aren't they quitting and going somewhere else to work?  Oh Yaaah, I forgot  'cuz Dumbama will look out for them and force me to pay them more.  I'll just  take a personal pay cut to cover it.   Problem solved.


Chuckle, chuckle, hahaha.  Actually, the joke is on the foolish citizens that actually believe Obama's policies are going to hand them a better life at the expense of the businesses.

Feb 20, 2013 10:04PM
DUH what does that mean ??  RECESSION
Feb 20, 2013 9:57PM
Dunkin Donuts.............I used to love your stuff. Your Munchkins are awesome. I moved to a city that didn't have you..............and I dreamed of your awesome strawberry filled, and blueberry donuts while I slaved away for 25 years. Finally, I retired and moved to Vegas. YOU'RE HERE!!!! Yaay!!! I walked in and was shocked that you want $1.20 for a freakin donut?????  And you want to get cheap on your employees???? Looks like it's Albertsons for me.............
Feb 20, 2013 9:54PM
obama will ruin this nation, what a stupid president we have.
Feb 20, 2013 9:41PM

Ahh yes, just another example of the dumbing down of America.   It's still illegal to rob a bank or break into your neighbors home, but vote for Dumbama and he will pass a law to take from the rich (we need to penalize the successful people that are doing something right )  and redistribute it to the "more deserving." 

Stealing really is "ok" so long as we do it indirectly with Dumbama's new laws.  You can't do it directly, but it's "ok"  to do it indirectly.  America is decaying because its people have no pride, ambition or ethics, nor willingness to stand up and fight this fool.


 Lets see, if I take (steal)  from the top 2 people and give it to the bottom eight,  I'll get enough votes to one day become president.  Unfortunately the bottom eight are fools who elected one of their own.  They may have won the election but are to stupid to look far enough into the future to know that he is destroying the middle and lower class.  They will be forever be beholden to the Gov't for their station in life.  This country is currently experiencing the largest transfer of wealth that it has ever experienced - mostly from the underclass to those with savings (capital) and lendability.  They are becoming renters for life (translation: can't afford to buy their own home, but they can buy mine).  THANK YOU BARACK!

Feb 20, 2013 9:39PM
here we go again............. why wouldn't a business of this size not provide health care for employees who work at least 30 hours a week.  workers are committing at least their time and efforts for the business, and for company not to provide fringe benefits is ludicrous.  

businesses will be able to write off some of these benefits as well as employees (if they end up paying). 

Feb 20, 2013 9:29PM
Shared Sacrifice,  I do remember the old commercials with Fred the Baker.  I agree that in those days, their donuts were delicious and something special.  Now they are mediocre at best and not worth the calories.  I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I miss those good donuts.  On the other hand, that is one less tempting treat to blow my diet!
Feb 20, 2013 9:25PM
Remember the old commercial with Fred the Baker, "IT'S TIME TO MAKE THE DONUTS"???  I hate to say it, but here's the truth: ever since Dunkin Donuts closed all the back-of-store bakeries to make more room for the drive-thru and moved the baking to off-site factories, Dunkin Donuts donuts have tasted old and stale.  Any local donut shop, or even a supermarket will give you a much better donut.  Of course, their coffee is still top notch, but they are called "Dunkin Donuts", not Dunkin Cafe.  Until they can get back to making a half decent donut, I'm not really that interested in their opinions on politics. 
Feb 20, 2013 9:22PM
I wonder how much money Dunkin' Donuts spent trying to defeat Obama.  If they spend as much as many corporations, that money could have gone a long way towards paying for the health insurance. 

I am grateful to MSN for informing of the companies that want to penalize their workers because Obama won re-election.  That way, I can stop patronizing these places.  If these corporations cannot support their fellow countrymen, I see no reason why I should support them.

Feb 20, 2013 9:21PM

Once again blame the President.  When govenors, state legislators,and businesses are all to blame.  Governors and States Legislators are refusing to implement ACA. Businesses are cutting their employees wages, so they can earn bigger profits and get bigger bonus.  What a wonderful ethic that is.  I know small business owners who have paid their employees full time and offered medical benefits, because it was the moral thing to do.  They were willing to earn less, so that their workers could have some comforts.  These are businesses with less than 50 people.


I know, I know, I must be a socialist right?

Feb 20, 2013 9:16PM
The ACact is much further from socialism than the existing Private system. In the ACA the employer must provide insurance, which is a working person receiving care through employment. Kind of like all you idiots, complaining about working people getting healthcare, which you also receive through employment. Now these workers can stop getting benefits from the gov't and enter the private system like y'all. Socialism is when we subsidized business by allowing their workers to receive care from our taxes while the business owner paid $10.hr. (poverty). If there is going to be a subsidy it should be for the people, we the people, not business. Although business is people too!
Feb 20, 2013 9:11PM
dont eat there, dont care - you are on your own:  ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha - good luck with that...

still waiting on the zombie apokolypse
Feb 20, 2013 9:09PM
I don't want to buy anything to eat...From sick people.
Feb 20, 2013 9:08PM

Some but not all businesses will take better care of a rented mule than workers who work like a rented mule for less than a living wage.

Feb 20, 2013 9:07PM

Sure a lot of opinions, for something that has been discussed to death...


Maybe what we should be investigating, IS the Insurance Industry; they are the sneaky bastards.


And then the so-called"non-profit"Hospitals and Medical Institutions and the Medical Profession itself.

Why do our pills cost so much?....For starters.

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