Opinion

Florida food chain now charging Obamacare fee

gator's
Photo credit: dailycaller.com

A Florida restaurant chain has begun listing an additional one percent to each of its customers’ tabs with the description, “ACA Surcharge” — ACA meaning the Affordable Care Act.

Everything comes at a price, including Obamacare, and 8 Gator’s Dockside restaurant locations want their customers to know it, according to CNNMoney.

Although the employer mandate doesn’t actually kick in until 2015, the company is getting a head start to cover compliance costs it’s facing in anticipation of the rollout. And customers are informed of the fact not only on their checks, but also on a sign.

“The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors,” the sign reads. “Instead of raising prices on our products to generate the additional revenue needed to cover the costs of ACA compliance, certain Gator’s Dockside locations have implemented a 1% surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only.”

The surcharge also provides a way for Gators to continue offering full-time employment and still remain in compliance with the law. CNN reported:

The company employs a total of 500 people, with about half working full-time. Currently only management receives health benefits, but the restaurant will have to offer coverage to all full-timers once the mandate takes effect. The fee will allow the company to continue offering full-time hours to many workers, according to Sandra Clark, the group’s director of operations.

obamacare-surcharge“I’m just trying to keep the employees I have that I’ve worked hard to train,” Clark said.

The company has had to hire an additional staff member and employ an outside firm to make sure Gator’s remains in compliance — the hidden costs of Obamacare.

And those costs are substantial for the 8 locations — estimated at $500,000. The customers’ surcharge is expected to bring in only a fraction of that — about $160,000.

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This is an idea I hope spreads. People often complain about the price of gasoline and vent their anger at the oil companies. If service station receipts were itemized into costs, profit and state and federal taxes, some of that anger may be redirected where it belongs — at the government.

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