The Supreme Court is expected to announce its ruling on President Obama’s health care reform legislation next week, potentially bringing to a conclusion the two-year debate on health care law in this country for individuals and businesses.
The court has ruled on the constitutionality of key parts of The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 and is expected to announce its decisions no later than June 28. The majority of foodservice companies and associations have been vocal in their opposition to the legislation, with many citing the law’s potential to reduce earnings, force job cuts and slow industry growth.
Laurence Kretchmer, a partner with chef-restaurateur Bobby Flay, said in 2010, when the legislation was signed, that his company’s health care expenses could increase about 29 percent under the new law. The quick-service chain White Castle reported, also in 2010, that the stated health care legislation could erode 55 percent of its net income.
Ahead of next week’s ruling, Nation’s Restaurant News collected a selection of prior coverage surrounding the health care debate, including insights on what a ruling will mean for restaurants.
According to NRN’s 2012 Outlook, restaurant operators do not think a presidential election will usher in change to American politics. Regardless of who sits at the helm, they said, legislative challenges surrounding health care and menu labeling are top of mind.
While the court considers four key questions pertaining to the constitutionality of some elements of the health care act, at the heart of the debate is the law’s central requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance or be subject to a fine — referred to as the individual mandate. The National Restaurant Association argued that a health care law shorn of the individual mandate would drive up employers' costs for insurance.
The NRA and the International Franchise Association renewed their support for lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who were seeking to repeal the employer mandate provision in the new federal health care law. They said it could cut deeply into earnings, force operators to raise prices, eliminate jobs and slow growth in an already economically challenged environment.
Accounting and consulting firm J.H. Cohn discussed a number of key issues operators would face as the new requirements phase in and how they could brace for it, from tax plans to executive packages.
Kim Monk, managing director of the Capital Alpha Partners consulting group, sketches out a partial timeline for the law’s implementation, should it stand.
Securities analyst Mark Kalinowski breaks down potential dollar figures behind a new health care structure for businesses.