Friday, March 22

A fast-food chain making burgers that will kill you is unhappy that it must now offer health insurance to employees

A Five Guys franchisee is raising a public stink about the Affordable Care Act, which will require him to offer his employees health care next year:
"In the burger master's view, the government is forcing him to 'pass on the costs to customers,' he said. But he already passes on considerable costs to customers who may never sniff a Five Guys fry. Because he doesn't give his employees health care, they show up as charity cases at the hospital emergency room when something goes wrong. Last year, the uninsured cost the system $39.3 billion. Guess whom the expenses are passed on to?
"This argument — trying to shame those who don't pay for health insurance and who force those who do to pick up their costs — was originally made by the conservative Heritage Foundation. The mandate was the basis of Mitt Romney's successful health care overhaul in Massachusetts and is the basis for President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
"But now that the Heritage Foundation has turned against its policy progeny, it needs to flip the debate. So, Mike Ruffer was brought in as the star witness at a Heritage forum designed to show just how egregious it is that businesses will have to provide health care for their employees, or pay a fine. Right wing media — Drudge, Breitbart, Fox — played their part, sounding alarms over a cheeseburger that may cost an additional quarter."
Burgers, Fries and Lies (NYT Opinion)