Commentary Magazine


Topic: John Schnatter

ObamaCare and the Price of Pizza

There may be some voters who are indifferent to the impact ObamaCare will have on the economy or even to the way it seeks to diminish religious freedom. But will they stand for an increase in the price of pizza? The founder and CEO of the Papa John’s pizza chain isn’t making any predictions on the presidential election, but he is promising a price hike on his product if the president’s signature health care legislation isn’t derailed by the November election. As Business Insider reports, John Schnatter said the additional costs ObamaCare will burden his business with will result in his pies costing 11 to 14 cents more per pizza and 15 to 20 cents per order. Because it will cost his company more to operate, the ObamaCare government surcharge will, he promised, be passed on to consumers.

Papa John’s isn’t alone in seeing a price increase in their futures. As the magazine relates, in its most recent earnings call, McDonald’s said the health care plan will cost their stores an extra $10,000 to $30,000. While the vast expansion of government power involved in the bill will result in more federal expenditures, the pizza magnate’s comment highlights the fact that it will create an across-the-board surtax on virtually all expenditures by families and individuals. This will mean an increase in the cost of living that will hit the poor a lot harder than the rich the president claims to want to tax.

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There may be some voters who are indifferent to the impact ObamaCare will have on the economy or even to the way it seeks to diminish religious freedom. But will they stand for an increase in the price of pizza? The founder and CEO of the Papa John’s pizza chain isn’t making any predictions on the presidential election, but he is promising a price hike on his product if the president’s signature health care legislation isn’t derailed by the November election. As Business Insider reports, John Schnatter said the additional costs ObamaCare will burden his business with will result in his pies costing 11 to 14 cents more per pizza and 15 to 20 cents per order. Because it will cost his company more to operate, the ObamaCare government surcharge will, he promised, be passed on to consumers.

Papa John’s isn’t alone in seeing a price increase in their futures. As the magazine relates, in its most recent earnings call, McDonald’s said the health care plan will cost their stores an extra $10,000 to $30,000. While the vast expansion of government power involved in the bill will result in more federal expenditures, the pizza magnate’s comment highlights the fact that it will create an across-the-board surtax on virtually all expenditures by families and individuals. This will mean an increase in the cost of living that will hit the poor a lot harder than the rich the president claims to want to tax.

As Politico notes, Schnatter is a supporter and fundraiser for Mitt Romney. But what he says is an accurate reflection of the way the health care plan will serve to cripple the ability of businesses — especially small businesses — to keep their costs under control.

While President Obama and his defenders have harped on the benefits of the plan to the minority of Americans who are currently uninsured, they have little to say about the way the bill will hurt the economy as well as making life more difficult for those without the ability to pay more. Those price hikes are a hidden tax increase that is particularly regressive in its impact, with the poor being affected far more than those who are rich. While rich liberals will say they will be glad to pony up an extra dime and change for their pizzas, those living hand to mouth or paycheck to paycheck cannot, especially when those costs are not just for fast food but on virtually everything we purchase or consume.

President Obama is seeking to demagogue Republicans about their sensible refusal to raise taxes on the people who fund investment and savings. But his claim that only the rich will have their taxes raised is given the lie by the fact that so much of the staples of life for the poor will be more expensive if the president has his way.

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