Obamacare Could “Wipe Out” Restaurants

Here’s another reason why the Supreme Court should consider taking up the Obamacare individual mandate case sooner rather than later. As CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder describes in this House Oversight Committee video, uncertainty over the health care law is preventing businesses from making essential long-term financial decisions. Puzder says that business leaders are unsure how severely the law will affect them, but do know that the impact will be negative:

Health care is probably the most significant unknown at the moment.  People are unsure about how much it will impact their business, but they will know it will be significant and they know it will be negative. It’s very hard to model the cost because the bill is so complex…The range [CKE’s economic forecasters] gave us on our health care costs increasing at CKE restaurants was between $7.3 and $35.1 million dollars…We spent about $9 million last year building new restaurants.  That would be totally wiped out.

Puzder previously testified before the House Oversight Committee about the expected financial burden Obamacare will place on his chain restaurants, which include Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Restaurant owners are also concerned about an Obamacare provision requiring them to display and update calorie information on their in-store menus.

President Obama announced today that he’ll outline a job-creation plan in an early September speech, and promised it will contain fresh ideas. But unless steps are taken to reduce the uncertainty and fear over the impact of Obamacare, it will continue to be a barrier to job-creation.