John Schnatter: Papa John’s Franchisees May Cut Hours Because of Obamacare

John Schnatter, founder and chief executive of Louisville-based Papa John’s, said last week that some of the company’s franchisees were likely to reduce employees’ hours to avoid offering health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

“That’s probably what’s going to happen,” Schnatter told college students on Wednesday in Naples, Fla., according the Naples Daily News. “It’s common sense. That’s what I call lose-lose.”

The law, strongly associated with President Obama, requires employers with 50 staff members — or the equivalent hours — to offer healthcare coverage, or to pay a penalty. Speaking the day after Obama’s re-election at the Edison State College’s Collier County campus, Schnatter re-emphasized his stance that the Affordable Care Act — commonly referred to as Obamacare — would lead to his company and others passing on the costs to consumers.

The Naples Daily News story goes on to say:

Schnatter, a Mitt Romney supporter and fundraiser, said he was not “pro or against” the reform law but likened the government’s involvement in health care to its operation of the U.S. Postal Service, saying “the worst entity in the world for running the thing is the government.”

About a third of Papa John’s employees are covered by the company’s health insurance plan, although Schnatter said he has always wanted 100 percent of them on the plan. The rising costs of health insurance, he said, have been a deterrent.

“The good news is 100 percent of the population is going to have health insurance. We’re all going to pay for it,” he said, estimating the new law would cost the business $5 million to $8 million annually.

Papa John’s had about 16,500 employees at the end of 2011, according to the company’s website. The company has more than 3,800 restaurants worldwide.

Joseph Lord

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

@joseph_Lord

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