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.
Businesses have been cutting hours for years to avoid paying benefits to the same employees that help makes them profitable but the kicker is companies like Cosco who already provide benefits to all employee’s and pay higher than minimum wage has the lowers employee cost in their industry. Loyal employee’s has been proven to be over all cheaper in the long run (over many years). The problem isn’t Obamacare is the short slightness of today’s business leaders. The reality of it all is with an 8% unemployment rate employer’s get away with cutting employees pay and benefits but if it was 4% companies would have to offer more pay and better benefits to compete for employees. Obamacare would not be an issue. So blame Obama for the unemployment rate and wanting bigger government but the fact is the private section is who to blame. The highest profited is years and the lowest employee cost in decades. An 8% unemployment rate is profitable for big business (low wages and benefits) the government is and has always been the difference between a profitable employment rate (7-9%) and a competitive unemployment rate (4-5%). I guess, unless it’s your job being cut who cares.
Canada has low cost (efficient) health care (americans buy prescriptions in Canada), low debt, efficient government. How do they do it? Oh yeah, they have no desire to be the world's policeman. Take all the co-pay's, employee insurance premium, employer premiums, add it up and pay less total as taxes into one payer system. Here's a thought. Every veteran should have at least as good health care as members of Congress.
all of the people that thought they were gong to get something for nothing. here is to you. sorry but you still lose. obama did nothing except raise taxes on small business and made the public think they were getting insurance when in fact they are not. i dont blame any company for telling obama to take a hike. it should not be up to obama to be able to force anyone to buy something for someone else if they choose not to. now you not only have no insurance you have a lower pay check. Nice work obama supporters. just remember you were all warned. now you reap what you sew.
I don't want to hear anyone complaining about the government getting out of debt. Did you read that in order not to provide insurance some companies should just pay the fine? Wow! GREED at its finest. For the ones saying that these jobs should go to kids and people just starting out, isn't that bias? So if your kid had a job working at McDonalds(that is what most of us responsible parents want. Their kid to work hard for something), you wouldn't want your kid insured versus the risks involved? Why is working at McDonalds less hazardous than working as a full time employee at any company? Is health insurance a perk? If it's a perk, then why do I have to pay for it out my check? Perks are usually free! Gone is the idea that getting that good job comes with benefits. This went by the way about the same time as company loyalty. How many work for a company that is "at will"? How many think they will retire with their company?
2013 vs 1981 inaugural addresses could not be more opposite.
If you think government is the answer, you were happy with the results!!
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are:
'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'- Ronald Reagan
I have served my country, I have never ask for a dime from the government, and worked hard all my life….. we are heading into a time where companies are going to pay for the penalties then pay for a employees health insurance, then the employees that work hard for their money and are struggling just to pay their bills and living expenses are going to have to pay a penalty because they can’t afford to pay for their own health insurance. I’m terrified were this country is heading, people are losing the American Dream….. I pray for the next generation….
This is what I expected to happen. Remember what I write now to you: If you are unskilled labor, a che labor commodity, you will never work full time with benefits unless you have a very kind rich owner. Skilled and educated workers will get beneifts because employee turnover can hurt a company but unskilled labor......forget it. As I tell me students, if you sweep floors, companies do not want to give you a 30 year pin. The cost to retrains a sweeper is 15 minutes at best. They thrive on unskilled labor turnover and in fact it is planned in budgets.
REMEMBER-YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.
I'm not sure why companies are complaining about providing insurance for employees. My fiance', who was self employed obtained insurance for a small monthly amount. ($180) It provided minimal coverage, but was better than nothing. I'm sure if he can find insurance, those huge companies can too.
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