Franchise owners plead for changes to ObamaCare

The kickoff date for the employer mandate in ObamaCare got put off for a year, but that doesn’t mean small-business owners don’t have to start making adjustments now to the ACA’s requirements — especially in the definition of full-time workers. While the White House looks for ways to snare more employers who are hoping to dodge the mandate by lowering the hours worked by their staff, owners of retail chain franchises want the definition changed from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week. Without that, they argue that their employees will see hours decline even further, and management of their businesses will become too unwieldy:


Franchise restaurant owners have come to Washington seeking a change to ObamaCare that they say could prevent them from having to cut their employees’ hours.

The healthcare law requires large employers to provide insurance to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. …

More than 300 members of the franchise association are making the rounds on Capitol Hill to lobby for the ObamaCare changes. Monday’s visitors included IFA members from Mr. Rooter, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts.

Their top priority is a trio of bills that would increase the law’s definition of full-time employee to 40 hours per week. Members of the IFA have been instructed to ask lawmakers whether they will co-sponsor legislation “to give employers and employees relief from burdensome employer regulations?”

Bills supported by the IFA include the Save American Workers Act, sponsored by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), and the Forty Hours is Full Time Act, offered in the House by Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) and in the Senate by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

The franchise trade group has also launched a website,, to encourage visitors to lobby their lawmakers on the full-time threshold.


If they have to lock in workers at a ceiling of 30 hours per week, business owners will need to add staff rather than have some flexibility on scheduling hours with existing staff. That will drive costs up — there is an overhead cost for every employee, regardless of how many hours worked — and create more problems in cost control. Since most franchise businesses operate on relatively low margins in highly competitive markets, higher costs mean higher prices, or a good possibility of going out of business.

And, since franchise businesses tend to hire younger workers, the loss of these businesses mean fewer opportunities for teens and young adults.  That’s hardly the only problems that ObamaCare creates for young adults, as the NRCC notes in this spoof of HHS’ “Healthy Young America” video contest.  Hot Air has the first look:

Heading back to school at ObamaCare University? Professor Sebelius wants to make sure you’re caught up with what trends are hot right now.

ObamaCare is causing the price of your health insurance to skyrocket, but don’t worry – higher costs for health care is the BIG trend this year. You’ll fit right in.

The law also mandates what services are covered. Because having less access to your Doctor is ALL the rage right now.

Concerned you can’t afford all these fashion trends? Don’t worry. ObamaCare will charge a hefty tax if you don’t participate, so you don’t really have a choice!

So just remember this Fall when you head back to campus: higher health premiums and no choices are SO IN. Control over your health care is SO two thousand and LATE. That’s all you need to know to succeed at ObamaCare University. Good luck!



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David Strom 5:20 PM | April 19, 2024