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.
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.
It is always boil down to the basic question: where is the money for a great idea. Obama, having no interest in economy, just don't care the basic question. He just want to do good.
These businesses want to go to 40 hours so they can avoid hiring full time employees to avoid paying for health insurance. They already are making well enough money to afford healthcare. Greed. My advice to them is to cut back on part time workers and hire full time. For years many unethical greedy companies hired part time and contingent employees when these people want full time. Do they not realize these people need to spend money filling their tanks getting to work, feeding their families or making a payment on the home so they can have a place to live. Maybe these companies are one of the reasons for the housing failure. People couldn't get full time.
Second, it's obvious that Dunkin Donuts (and Papa Johns, and others of their ilk) don't care about the health of their employees, because they are not currently providing heath insurance. If they did, this wouldn't be an issue. So now they will cut people's hours so they can continue to NOT pay them insurance.
I'd rather see Dunkin Donuts raise the price of coffee by $0.25, or Papa John's raise the price of a pizza by $0.14, and know their employees are taken care of...
Oh yeah, all the Obama haters come out of from under the GOP rocks to blast him and the ACA. I love the teapartiers who shove posters around---"Keep Big Guvment Hands off my Medicare", etc. What a pack of rocket surgeons. At over 70 I'm still working full time by choice and I like the ACA future....sure, I am biased as a third generation southern Calif. liberal Democrat. As an army vet (W. Germany, early 60s) I have had great care at the VA-San Diego. I know how expensive and complicated medical care is vs. yrs. ago when my pop could pay the monthly premiums for Blue Cross comprehensive/catastrophic coverage for himself and mother. Both were asthmatics. He once spent a week in the very posh La Jolla Scripps Clinic looking down at a beach in '69 with everything covered--pvt. room, great meals, great care.
If this successful franchise cannot fork over a few dollars to insure its employees,
then I will stop patronizing them.
Raising the min wage will help low income earners buy their own ins or pay the fines, even with cutbacks in hours worked and fewer working.
It's VERY SIMPLE.
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