ObamaCare - it's right around the corner. It's either a great thing or the end of times depending on your polarized MSNBC/Fox News view of the world. Wait - there are people somewhere in the middle? Moderates? Surely you jest.
Regardless of your stance, you still need to figure out how you'll absorb increased business costs (if
you have them) related to ObamaCare. Most of us have no clue what's going on.
Never fear! I'm here with the dummies guide for dealing with the cost of ObamaCare. What can I say? It just felt right to do this. Let's just say if you don't currently offer benefits to a large degree of your workforce or those benefits suck, you might need this dummies guide to ObamaCare.
Here's how it works. I give 3 dummy guide coping mechanisms for the cost of ObamaCare below, then I give you a tasty example of people in the real world bracing for impact and making large statements before the election, brought to you buy this jaded article from Salon (not Fox News btw).
Lets' get this party started:
THE DUMMIES GUIDE TO DEALING WITH OBAMACARE - YOUR OPTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1. Don't accept the cost increases lying down - just cut some jobs (and service) and make sure you're vocal about why you're doing it. Profits aren't going down in your company, jobs are going down. Homey don't play that. Instead of taking the coming cost increases like a chump, you can cut some jobs and stay even. Let's say not providing benefits is going to cost you an ObamaCare tax of 2K per employee. You've got 2,000 employees you don't ensure, and you're going to take the surcharge/tax of 2K per (4M large). The average salary at your company is 40K. That means you have to cut 100 jobs to stay even. If you do the layoffs on Friday, you can do what I think the guy below would do and deem the layoff day "Obama Friday".
"Applebee’s New York CEO says he’ll ax jobs because of Obamacare.
Zane Tankel, the CEO of Applebee’s New York restaurants, is another so-called “job creator” who’s threatened to fire employees and freeze hiring. As he told Fox Business News, “We’ve calculated it will be some millions of dollars across our system. So what does that say — that says we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people — exactly the opposite of what the president says.” Sorry, but that’s on you, Mr. Tankel.
When asked if he would start relying more heavily on part-time workers, he said, “I’m sure all our people are watching this right now, so I don’t want to make any commitments one way or another. I just want to say we’re looking at it, we’re evaluating it, if it’s possible to do without cutting people back, I’m delighted to do it. But that also rolls back expansion, it rolls back hiring more people, and in a best-case scenario we only shrink the labor force minimally.”
2. You can cut everyone who doesn't receive benefits to part-time status. Sure they've got bills to pay, but you've got 2K per head tax/surcharge to avoid. What could possibly go wrong?
"Red Lobster and Olive Garden parent company may rely on more part-time workers.
Darden Concepts, the parent corporation of Red Lobster and Olive Garden, may start using more part-time workers who would likely not be eligible for employee-sponsored health insurance plans, according to Salon’s Natasha Lennard, who cites a report by MSNBC’s Ned Resnikoff:
[T]he company overall could come to rely more on part-time workers. Those new employees would likely not enjoy the same health benefits that all employees currently do. “Today we offer health care to all of our employees,” said Rich Jeffers, [a spokesperson for Darden]. But under the Affordable Care Act, which sets minimum standards for the health care being provided, “we can’t offer that.”
3. My personal favorite - you can itemize the tax/surcharge on every customer's bills, reminding everyone of why the cost of the goods/service has risen with every transaction. You know this game - you're renting a car or checking out of a hotel, and you see 4 different line items for special taxes that that the local government did to stick it to visitors to the city. Why not itemize the cost of ObamaCare? If you stand back and look at it from a distance, it's elegant in it's simplicity.
"Denny’s/Dairy Queen franchise threatens “Obamacare surcharge,” reduced employees hours.
John Metz, who owns Hurricane Grill & Wings and dozens of Denny’s and Dairy Queen franchises, has threated to slash his workers’ pay and impose an “Obamacare surcharge” at his restaurants.
“If I leave the prices the same, but say on the menu that there is a 5 percent surcharge for Obamacare, customers have two choices. They can either pay it and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare,” Metz told the Huffington Post. “Although it may sound terrible that I’m doing this, it’s the only alternative. I’ve got to pass the cost on to the consumer.”
Terrible, yes. The only alternative, not so much."
OK - BIG DISCLAIMER. I included the Salon clips because it was nice background for my dummies guide list. I don't have knowledge of the labor practices of any of these companies, but I do know life in the mosh pit of the economy is tough. I think these execs have a right to freak out a little bit. As far as Salon's commentary, I'm amused that Salon doesn't think that Denny's or Dairy Queen doesn't have the right to itemize the cost of ObamaCare on it's menu. Interesting in that option that the person hurt most might be the person who lives on tips. Talk about unintended consequences.
Strange days, indeed.