Originally published September 24 2013
Franchise restaurant owners plead with Congress to halt Obamacare or workers will lose hours, jobs
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a continuing resolution that would fund virtually all government operations - with the exception of Obamacare. Much to the chagrin of the Affordable Care Act's Democrat creators and supporters, the GOP-controlled House did its part to keep this monstrosity from nationalizing your healthcare.
Meantime, more and more Americans continue to plead with lawmakers from both parties to kill the law once and for all, either by outright repeal or by habitual defunding.
Some of the loudest to protest the law are small business owners, and that includes franchise owners of Mr. Rooter, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts and others, most of whom are warning that if Obamacare is allowed to remain the fully-funded law of the land, then it will have a dramatic impact on their employees: Many will lose either hours or their jobs.
Small business franchise owners can't afford Obamacare
From The Hill, Congress' daily newspaper:
The healthcare law requires large employers to provide insurance to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. Franchise owners say the employer mandate threatens to erase their narrow profit margins and are telling lawmakers they need to overhaul the law before it's too late.
"Employees won't have the hours they need, and they won't get employer-sponsored healthcare, either," Steve Caldeira, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA), told the paper. "[Franchisees] are dealing with high commodity costs, high energy prices, higher taxes from the 'fiscal-cliff' deal, and now they are trying to work through ObamaCare."
Hundreds of members of the franchise organization have shown up on Capitol Hill in recent weeks, as the Oct. 1 launch for the law looms, pleading with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to make changes that will allow them to stay in business - and keep people employed.
They are aiming their lobbying efforts at three bills that would increase the law's definition of a full-time employee to 40 hours per week. Per The Hill:
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.).
Beginning in 2015, Obamacare punishes employers with 50 or more workers by forcing them to pay penalties if they don't provide health insurance to workers who put in at least 30 hours per week. That mandate was set to take effect Jan. 1, but Obama - with really no authority to do so - ordered his bureaucracy to delay that by a year.
The 'train wreck' is coming - will Senate put on the brakes?
But even that unconstitutional act didn't do much to allay concerns among business owners, for they know that eventually - unless specifically changed - the employer mandate, as it's called, will be back (like, sometime after the 2014 elections, perhaps?), and with it, huge new expenses to cover workers in a climate of ever-rising insurance costs (again, thanks to Obamacare's mandates).
"This is about taking part-time workers who were at 32 hours, 34 hours per week and limiting their work," Scott DeFife, executive vice president for policy and government affairs at the National Restaurant Association, told the paper.
"You still have to cover the shifts," DeFife added, which of course will mean hiring even more workers and training them, at extra cost. "There's an additional cost for each worker you bring on."
But at present, Democrats appear to be in no mood to listen to these concerns. That includes the president, who supposedly "cares" more about American workers than the Republicans who are trying to stop what Democratic Sen. Max Baucus has called "a train wreck."
In the Senate, majority Democrats say they will strip out the House bill's provision defunding Obamacare.
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