Industry News | March 22, 2012

Reform the Reform: NCCR Asks Congress to Redo PPACA

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Two years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)—also known as health care reform—was signed into law by President Obama, the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) is urging Congress to rewrite the law so that it does not hurt restaurant operators’ profits.

Rob Green, executive director of the NCCR, says the organization is trying to educate operators and legislators alike about how certain aspects of the law could cripple operators’ margins.

The primary concern for chain restaurants, Green says, is the PPACA’s requirement that large employers and their franchisees must provide health insurance at government-mandated levels for full-time workers beginning in 2014. He adds that the law’s definition of 30 hours a week as full-time work and its short waiting periods before new workers are eligible for coverage are harmful to chain restaurants.

“The reality is in 2014 there are significant and dramatic impacts in terms of how employers will have to comply,” Green says. “It’s really the definition of what a full-time employee is that hits hardest in both the restaurant and retail industries.”

As it is, the PPACA could wipe out restaurant profits and force operators to cut back on job opportunities in an effort to avoid the financial burden of the law, Green says.

“You’re going to see a dramatic shift from full-time work to part-time work, and you’re going to see a dramatic shift in hiring in terms of fewer positions in restaurants, particularly chain restaurants,” he says.

The NCCR has maintained conversations with the Obama Administration and other legislators to address its concerns, Green says. He says there are compromises to be made with health care reform, and the NCCR is pushing for Congress to replace PPACA with reform that lowers costs and makes it easier for employers to provide insurance to their employees.  

“You want affordable insurance, you want to make sure the coverage is broad as it can be, but it shouldn’t be done on the backs of an industry that creates a staggering number of jobs on an annual basis,” he says.

“Our ultimate goal is to find a solution that changes the law to reflect the unique circumstances of chain restaurants in terms of the number of employees that are hired, how the industry is structured in terms of full-time and part-time workers, and the unique challenges of turnover within the industry.”

By Sam Oches

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

Comments

No matter how you do the math, if Obamacare is put into effect, you will see the highest unemployment rate among teenagers, minorities and 20 somethings this country has ever seen. What ever it is now, you could easily see it double. Businesses will close, businesses will close, businesses will close....did I say businesses will close like never before, never.

Boo hoo, restaurants. You have to treat your employees like other companies do all of a sudden. Really crying for you.

Have you ever been a franchisee? Ever been the owner of a restaurant? I highly doubt that you have, otherwise you wouldn't post a thoughtless comment. Go get on one of the liberal websites you are so fond of and post your idiotic comments. You have no idea what it takes to run a successful restaurant. This health care bill will put a lot of small business owners out of business.

The restaurant industry is very labor intensive with most jobs requiring unskilled labor at low wages. The fnancial burden imposed on a restaurant to provide the "NEW" health insurance with all of it's expanded coverage and liberal definition of full-time can only result in fewer workers being employed and more restaurants closing their doors because their costs exceed their ability to raise prices.

Not only a matter of profits as that is only a secondary issue....a consequence. Even if Obamacare increased profits it would be improper and unconstitutional. Not saying profits are secondary to a business, they are primary in that case. I am saying Federal Legislation should based on Constitutional authority....and nothing else. What if the Federal Government rewrote the legislation to soften the financial burden....you would then sanction a piece of legislation stripping away individual rights....so you do have a price for selling off your rights? That is the position you want to take? I think that is the same argument the Federal Government used to get Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies to sell out and sign on to this awful piece of legislation.If you cannot make a case for your position any better than this.....be prepared to have more rights bought. Any one willing to sell their rights that easily surely will sell mine that much faster.Hopefully Mr Green is simply making a pragmatic argument and this is not an example of the depth of the case to be made. If so, NCCR should be looking for new leadership.For the record, last 6 years I lowered my insurance costs by 50% using an HSA policy which requires all parties to be responsible....and Obamacare has doubled in expected costs and hasn't even kicked in yet. More Government is not the solution it is the problem.

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