MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A large pizza with a side of health care? Papa John’s CEO says "Obamacare" will raise his pizza prices. The pizza company is passing those health care costs on to you, the consumer. The CEO, John Schnatter, says Obamacare will result in an 11 to 14 cent price increase per pizza.
Several people told abc24.com if it's going to cost them 3 extra cents to order a pizza so a Papa John’s employee can have health insurance they're fine with that. Others told us it is bad business.
"It'll hurt their business. Every time you go up on prices, it's going to hurt your business but if that's an increase, cost of business, it has to be passed onto the consumer,” said Jurey Howard, who is against the new health care law.
"I think health care is more important and once people realize that health care is more important I don't think they'll have a problem with giving $1 or $2 for the employees,” said a Memphian who supports the law, Reagan Drake.
Companies with more than 50 employees have to provide affordable health insurance or pay a $2,000 fine for each uninsured employee. More than 16,000 people work at Papa John's restaurants worldwide.
"Even though they'll cry about the increased costs they'll find a way to make it work,” said University of Memphis Economist Professor Dr. John Gnuschke. “If they can shift the cost off to consumers, their customers, then in fact they're going to do that."
Dr. Gnuschke says people are already paying for the uninsured.
"If a Papa John’s employee gets sick now, who covers that? Well, the people with insurance cover that,” he told abc24.com. "Now we're asking them to pay for their own employees and that's only fair."
Whether more expensive pizza will hurt Papa John’s business, Gnuschke says that'll be up to the consumer.
"I think they wouldn't mind an extra charge on their pizza. I wouldn't anyway,” said Drake.
"I don’t agree with it. I think it's bad business,” said Howard.
Dunkin' Donuts, Quiznos, Subway, and Burger King are also against Obamacare.
President of North America for Burger King Worldwide sent ABC 24 News the following statement:
“The new federal health care law will have a major impact across the restaurant industry. While the final regulations have not been issued, Burger King Worldwide shares the concerns of its franchisees, many of whom are small business owners. When this law takes effect in 2014, many of our franchisees will struggle with how to reconcile the financial implications of these regulations and will likely take other measures to reduce costs. In addition to working closely with our franchise community and the industry to ensure that the concerns of small business owners are being considered, we continue to speak with members of Congress about adopting a profit-per-employee model.”