Video: L.A. restaurant now tacking on an extra three percent to cover its new ObamaCare costs

posted at 11:21 am on February 19, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Moe Lane. The bad news: They’re telling customers who object to the charge to reduce their waiter’s tip accordingly, although only a very few have done so thus far. (Republique is pricey to begin with so its clientele can more easily bear an extra surcharge.) The good-ish news: Last week Obama waved his executive magic wand and delayed the employer mandate for another two years so, strictly speaking, small businesses really don’t need to take this step — yet.

Or do they? The story of ObamaCare’s implementation over the last four months is that you never know when a new game-changing delay or extension will come down from Mt. Olympus to satisfy the White House’s political needs du jour. On top of the capriciousness, you’ve got Republicans mobilizing to undo some of O’s executive actions on constitutional grounds. If you’re a business owner trying to plan for next year, how much can you trust that any government rule or regulation that’s guiding your behavior now will be there next week?

Republique has taken heat from patrons for the tacked-on cost, but managing partner Bill Chait told Southern California Public Radio there is a method behind the madness.

The restaurant wanted its 80-plus workers to be full-time workers, but the health care law in the coming years will require large employers to provide health coverage to its full-timers or pay fines.

Although the Obama administration has delayed the mandate for companies of 50 to 99 employees to 2016, critics say the rule is forcing employers to trim payroll or move people to part-time status ahead of time.

You can lay people off or reduce them to part-time status, you can cut your own profits to cover the extra health insurance you’ll be required to provide once the employer mandate finally takes effect, or you can do this. And before you write off Republique’s tactic as a fluke thing that other businesses won’t emulate, read SCPR’s take on the owner, Chait. He’s a big name in the Los Angeles restaurant scene, managing six places around town. (“[A] lot of other restaurateurs pay attention to his business decisions.”) Three percent may seem penny-ante, but the more adverse selection problems the exchanges have, the more likely premiums are to rise in the years ahead. And needless to say, not every business may be as well positioned financially as Republique to keep its surcharge low.

Cheer up, though. At the rate we’re going, the employer mandate’s unlikely to ever take effect. Either we’ll have a Democratic president in 2016 who’ll keep on delaying it to cover his/her ass politically or we’ll have a Republican president who’ll sign Congress’s bill to repeal it once and for all. What Republique’s really charging here is an uncertainty tax, just in case the administration reverses course yet again. Thank your president for it.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

We need brayam on this thread.

Del Dolemonte on February 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

When do the Hollywood stars become violent over this? You mean I have actually have to pay for what I support.

Oil Can on February 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Next comes the executive order requiring business owners to sign a statement on their tax returns stating that they didn’t increase the price of anything as a result of Obamacare–signed under penalties of perjury.

BuckeyeSam on February 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Republicans have a way to fix this. Americans can be replaced with cheaper costing immigrants to offset the impact of Obamacare.

Wigglesworth on February 19, 2014 at 11:26 AM

What Republique’s really charging here is an uncertainty tax, just in case the administration reverses course yet again.

This is exactly the point, and it is a terrible legacy of Obama’s lawlessness.

jwolf on February 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM

But I thought DeathCare was going to be free???…

PatriotRider on February 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I can’t wait to stay home and write cowboy poetry, paint and spend more time with my wife…

PatriotRider on February 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Unfortunately the small business owner / self-employed are being screwed into oblivion by O’Commie care now.

Not in 2016…. but as we speak.

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Well…Isn’t this a tacky thing to do…We shan’t frequent this establishment again! – Moonbat Progressive/Liberal

workingclass artist on February 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM

The story of ObamaCare’s implementation over the last four months is that you never know when a new game-changing delay or extension will come down from Mt. Olympus to satisfy the White House’s political needs du jour. On top of the capriciousness, you’ve got Republicans mobilizing to undo some of O’s executive actions on constitutional grounds. If you’re a business owner trying to plan for next year, how much can you trust that any government rule or regulation that’s guiding your behavior now will be there next week?

“But…but…but..the government is there to help.”
/Liberals

Bitter Clinger on February 19, 2014 at 11:34 AM

… as though the gilled one needed an excuse to reduce the waiter’s tip?

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

We need brayam on this thread.

Del Dolemonte on February 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

…all the braying the jacka$s did yesterday…exploded the shit from its brain…it has nothing left!

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

well I hope this places food is just that good … because if the ppl he is
competing against do not raise their prices, he could be in trouble.

conservative tarheel on February 19, 2014 at 11:38 AM

The good-ish news: Last week Obama waved his executive magic wand and delayed the employer mandate for another two years so, strictly speaking, small businesses really don’t need to take this step — yet.

Until Dear Liar decides to retroactive re-enact the tax. Ex post facto only applies to criminal laws, according to the Supreme Court (thanks to CERCLA) so he could reapply it whenever he wants.

rbj on February 19, 2014 at 11:38 AM

I loved one of the customer quotes:
“It’s not my job to give your employees healthcare”
WRONG!
Thanks to progressives, That’s exactly your job. And that’s just the beginning!

LeftCoastRight on February 19, 2014 at 11:39 AM

… as though the gilled one needed an excuse to reduce the waiter’s tip?

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Ha!! I forgot about that.

Bitter Clinger on February 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Someone que up “Taxman” by the Beatles.

ToddPA on February 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Hmmm,
What if the employers don’t protect themselves against the costs, because of the executive order, and later a Federal Judge throws out the order and makes the businesses pay retroactive to the statutory date?

jhnone on February 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

… as though the gilled one needed an excuse to reduce the waiter’s tip?

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

…you!…remember… e v e r y t h i n g !

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Unfortunately the small business owner / self-employed are being screwed into oblivion by O’Commie care now.

Not in 2016…. but as we speak.

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM

So true. And on top of rising food costs, increased prices in essential utilities such as electricity, water and natural gas, Obama now wants them to increase minimum wage?

I was just talking with my daughter a little while ago who owns a restaurant. She and her husband are thinking they’ll either have to close permanently or drastically cut their workforce if the minimum wage is raised to $10.

Flora Duh on February 19, 2014 at 11:45 AM

write cowboy poetry,
PatriotRider on February 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Let me guess. You aren’t familiar with just how cold it is in Elko that time of year. Most years it can make back east look like a tiptoe through the tulips.

CW20 on February 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Meanwhile, conservatives continually claim that Obamacare is the same as “slavery.” It’s amazing what hypocrisy does to a group of people.

libfreeordie on February 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The irony escapes the slave of HA.

Schadenfreude on February 19, 2014 at 11:50 AM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.
libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on February 19, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Republique

Evil name. That explains it.
- Demoiselles

Shy Guy on February 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

For ToddPA

Schadenfreude on February 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

write cowboy poetry,
PatriotRider on February 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Alan Greyson is Demented,
Pelosi’s brain is Cemented,
Harry Reid is a D*ck
And Carlos Danger is quick.

ToddPA on February 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM

ObamaCare wants to increase the minimum wage wile decreasing the maximum wage. We will all be forced into becoming pikers.

SparkPlug on February 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM

this sounds familiar, something about increasing worker pay and raising the price of a big mac? guess when you actually put things like this in practice people arent quite as willing to cough up the extra money as they are when its a just a question on a poll.

chasdal on February 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Itemizing bills to make the costs of overreaching government plain seems to be a good idea.

Mason on February 19, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Three percent may seem penny-ante, but the more adverse selection problems the exchanges have, the more likely premiums are to rise in the years ahead.

We’ll see if the server thinks it’s penny-ante when I deduct it from their tip. Surcharges can work both ways here.

tommyboy on February 19, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Next comes the executive order requiring business owners to sign a statement on their tax returns stating that they didn’t increase the price of anything as a result of Obamacare–signed under penalties of perjury.

BuckeyeSam on February 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

How true. I’m sure they will try something like that.

tommer74 on February 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Next comes the executive order requiring business owners to sign a statement on their tax returns stating that they didn’t increase the price of anything as a result of Obamacare–signed under penalties of perjury.

price fixing Self-Attestation doesn’t relieve job-Lock. May as well just have the government hire your staff and set their wages and benefits. This country is so screwed!

tej on February 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Next comes the executive order requiring business owners to sign a statement on their tax returns stating that they didn’t increase the price of anything as a result of Obamacare–signed under penalties of perjury.

BuckeyeSam on February 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Please, don’t give them any ideas.

Athos on February 19, 2014 at 12:39 PM

I don’t know how a business owner can not try to comply with the law as written. Even if the President says he is not going to enforce it, that doesn’t prevent a lower level prosecutor from bringing charges, or an employee from suing and pointing at the written law and demanding compliance.

MTinMN on February 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Next comes the executive order requiring business owners to sign a statement on their tax returns stating that they didn’t increase the price of anything as a result of Obamacare–signed under penalties of perjury.
BuckeyeSam on February 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

What I haven’t seen is what the penalty is for an owner to sign it saying they did do whatever due to OboobiCare.? I mean is one thing to lie and sign it saying it wasn’t due to it, but… or is it a trap where the only answer is to claim that it wasn’t? Gonna be an interesting case for SCOTUS if it makes it that far up unless the imbecile potus issues another eo when flooded with a bunch of statements saying yeah they did and so what?

AH_C on February 19, 2014 at 1:01 PM

I find the name of the place intriguing. An oblique reference to a political preference? Republi…

HakerA on February 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Sorry, dude, I understand your pain, but instead of standing up against Obama’s dictatorial tyranny and fighting this you are doing exacty what he is…bleeding the ‘little people’.

You may be a great guy and have a great reteraunt, but I would encourage people to boycot your resteraunt…to force you to fight rather than passively comply.

easyt65 on February 19, 2014 at 1:31 PM

What Republique’s really charging here is an uncertainty tax, just in case the administration reverses course yet again. Thank your president for it.

Thank you President Obama.

crr6 on May 1, 2011 at 10:45 PM

pain train on February 19, 2014 at 1:39 PM

or we’ll have a Republican president who’ll sign Congress’s bill to repeal it once and for all.

Yeah. I like your optimism, Allah.

I remember Murkowski saying as soon as that rat-eared bastard signed it she was on record saying in all honesty, it will probably never be repealed.

Lanceman on February 19, 2014 at 1:44 PM

*meh*

Don’t go there.

RedNewEnglander on February 19, 2014 at 2:03 PM

“Cutting employees has never been a good option to me, which is the option that everyone’s taking.”

Oh, you will be cutting them when less customers result because of increased prices. You can’t escape it.

Dollayo on February 19, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Embrace the suck

mumbojumbo on February 19, 2014 at 3:33 PM

I’m honestly considering switching to a self-funded model with a stop-loss policy as a backstop. Paying the claims out of pocket would be cheaper than the premium hikes and stop-loss is a good protection against catastrophics.

Plus, stop-loss isn’t health insurance so its not an ERISA qualified product, which means the feds can’t regulate it. At least not yet.

mumbojumbo on February 19, 2014 at 3:36 PM

mumbojumbo on February 19, 2014 at 3:36 PM

I’ve gone on record several times with my proposed approach to healthcare… basically the same thing you suggest, with uncapped HSAs to pay the stop loss premiums and difference.

I hadn’t considered that stop-loss isn’t health insurance, so the feds can’t yet regulate it. Interesting….

dominigan on February 19, 2014 at 5:32 PM

mumbojumbo on February 19, 2014 at 3:36 PM

dominigan on February 19, 2014 at 5:32 PM

A downside of self-pay plans that you have to consider: the prices you pay will be the ‘rack rates’ in emergency situations. Hospitals and doctors look at emergency self-pays like lions look at the wounded gazelle.

Yes, if you have lead time you can negotiate if you are informed and a good negotiator and patient. Even then, are you going to negotiate all the secondary services like the X-ray analysis that might be in a different city? The anesthesiologist, etc?

If it’s an emergency you get the shaft.

slickwillie2001 on February 19, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Next comes the executive order requiring business owners to sign a statement on their tax returns stating that they didn’t increase the price of anything as a result of Obamacare–signed under penalties of perjury.

BuckeyeSam on February 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Please, don’t give them any ideas.

Athos on February 19, 2014 at 12:39 PM

They probably already have THAT idea. They’ll play that card when they are ready. Ain’t no one getting away with blaming Obamacare for cutting employment and raising costs for goods and services.

hawkeye54 on February 19, 2014 at 6:23 PM

I’m OK with the restaurant putting a sign OUTSIDE the restaurant and ON THE MENU explaining the 3% surcharge…

I don’t patronize Starbucks because:
- I think $5 is too much for a fancy coffee…
- I don’t feel I need to help defray the cost of “your” heath insurance by overpaying for a coffee…

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Khun Joe on February 20, 2014 at 12:51 AM

Cost of doing business is always passed down to the consumer. You’ll be poor, but at least you’ll have Obamacare.

Farnsworth on February 20, 2014 at 9:59 AM

The “lawlessness” angle is interesting. Does it mean that the EO decisions are the law or not the law? Can any court rule on something that is not a statute? If you contravene an EO, what happens? I don’t think you can be sued, because you have broken no law.

I’m no expert but it seems to me the only valid use of EO is to instruct the Administration of the Executive in issues not already covered by existing law (the eventual intention being to replace the EO with formal legislation later).

I don’t see how an EO changes a law at all, since I am not sure how the state could take action on non-compliance. The way Obama has done this looks to me more as an “aspiration” – he would like the law to be XYZ, and his officials can act “as if” that’s true, but they would still be personally in violation of the conflicting statute and subject to any and all legal claims arising.

virgo on February 20, 2014 at 11:32 AM