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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/27/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Going out to dinner? You'd better be prepared to pay a little bit extra thanks to Obamacare. A chain of Florida restaurants is tacking a surcharge onto diner's bills to help keep expenses at bay and workers on the payroll.

Obamacare sounds nice, but somebody has to pay. At least Gator's Dockside is up front about it.

Obamacare sounds nice, but somebody has to pay. At least Gator's Dockside is up front about it.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/27/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Restaurant, Obamacare, Gator's Dockside, surcharge, fee, costs, workers, jobs, employment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A small chain of Florida restaurants, Gator's Dockside, is implementing a new fee in eight stores to help offset the costs of Obamacare compliance. It is a very visible expression of the law's cost to ordinary citizens who many not appreciate that Obamacare isn't really the free lunch most Americans assume it will be.

Gator's Dockside is adding a 1 percent surcharge onto diner's bills, so a bill of $20 generates a $.20 surcharge. The charge is listed as "ACA Surchar" on the bill.

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In economics, one of the first lessons taught is TINSTAAFL, which means, "there is no such things as a free lunch." Somebody has to pay for Obamacare, and costs laid upon the back of businesses, especially those who operate with low margins, such as eateries, must pass those costs on to consumers in order to stay in business and keep workers employed while maintaining standards of service that customers expect.

Under Obamacare, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees must provide health insurance coverage for workers or pay a crippling penalty. Gator's Dockside estimates that for the 8 stores where the surcharge is in place, the annual cost of compliance may be about $500,000. The surcharges are expected to bring in about $160,000. That money will allow the store to keep several full-time employees in their jobs.

Thirteen other Gator's Dockside stores which are separately owned and run, will not be implementing the fee.

Most consumers have paid the fee without much grumbling, although a few may be dismayed to see the small surcharge on their bills. However, before anyone gets upset with Gator's Dockside they should consider that at least the restaurant is upfront and honest about the charges. Most other businesses, including restaurants, are simply raising prices to compensate, and they're not telling you about it.

Remember, everyone who employs more than 50 full-time workers has to pay so that means every large firm is passing its costs on to you in some fashion.

The price of Obamacare won't be measured in dollars and cents either. The true cost of the program may not be felt for years as successive administrations grapple with how to fix an inherently flawed law, and what to do to ensure people actually have access to affordable health care, which right now, only the unemployed and poorest of the poor have.

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