Starbucks Won’t Use Obamacare as Excuse to Cut or Lower Benefits for Its Workers

starbucks-schultzIn an announcement more companies should be making, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz publicly stated during a phone interview, “Other companies have announced that they won’t provide coverage for spouses; others are lobbying for the cut-off to be at 40 hours. But Starbucks will continue maintaining benefits for partners and won’t use the new law as excuse to cut benefits or lower benefits for its workers.”

The keyword in his comment that I like the most is “excuse,” because that’s exactly what these companies have used the Affordable Care Act as — an excuse.

An excuse to cut wages and benefits for their workers.  Because trust me, the executives of these companies that are screwing over their employees sure as heck aren’t taking a cut in pay or a reduction in benefits. In fact, I’m willing to bet they’ll make even more next year.

And while companies like Walmart, UPS and McDonald’s use the new health care law as an excuse to cut expenses to generate more revenue, companies like Starbucks will continue to provide better pay and benefits to their employees and will most assuredly still bring in massive profits.

Then there are the inevitable millions of Americans, mostly conservatives, that will see these cuts in benefits and hours as a sign that “Obamacare” is going to ruin business.  Which I always find to be pathetically amusing.

By all means, let’s blame the health care law which seeks to give access to health care for every American; not the greedy corporations making unheard of profits with CEO’s that have 8 figure salaries and ridiculous bonus packages.

It’s just funny to me how most Republicans seem incapable of ever just saying, “Man, enough is enough!  That’s just greed, pure and simple.”

Conservatives often quickly rush to judgement towards anyone who might rely on government assistance, many who work for companies like Walmart, UPS and McDonalds, yet never blame the companies for cutting their hours or not paying them enough to survive. If someone has a full-time job, and is barely cracking the poverty line (if they’re even above it), don’t blame them for needing help from the government.  Blame the company they’re working for and the greedy nature in which they run their business.

And while these businesses like Jimmy John’s claim they cannot “survive” the Affordable Care Act without screwing over their employees, it seems that companies like Starbucks have found a way.

That, or maybe these other CEO’s are just completely full of crap.

Perhaps these companies like Walmart, UPS and McDonald’s might need to hire new CEO’s — because it seems the ones they currently have can’t seem to figure out how to run a profitable business and act ethically towards their workers.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • raggedcompany

    I wonder if there is a list available of companies who aren’t screwing their employees over and blaming it on the ACA, because I would much prefer to do business with them.

    • cappy

      me too..

    • guest123

      Even if there was a list. It would be very short lol

      • John

        No the list is very long. And they are doing things like saying if your spouse works and their company offers insurance they have to get off you group plan and get a single plane from their company. So if you have kids you need to keep both plans and pay up. And if you company is like mine I get a $2500.00 a year bonus if I get health care elsewhere so if I am on my spouse’s plan and her company has that policy I lose that too.

    • Spy Report

      Hey, if you are willing to pay 10 bucks for coffee and a crap muffin… you are helping pay for these benefits. Don’t you think if Wal-Mart and McDonalds ripped off their customers like Starbucks they’d be able to also give a better benefits package. The money comes from somewhere… the customers… not from Schultz bank account.

      • Melinda Craig

        Spy, it would raise the price of a big mac 68 cents for McDonalds to pay their employees $10.00 per hour with benefits AND not one red cent would their shareholders or ceo’s lose.

        Papa Johns Pizza could do this by adding 14 cents to the price of each pizza sold. It’s BS that companies are doing this. And so what IF the CEO’s only banked 40 million this year instead of 50 million?

      • strayaway

        I’m all for McDonald’s raising the price of a hamburger 68 cents to be able to pay $10/hour. It was also a point of integrity for Starbucks not to follow other businesses trying to cut Obamacare costs. However, the consumer who pays and extra 68 cents for a hamburger will have 68 cents less to spend elsewhere. Robotization will also get a boost to reduce employment. For instance, I noticed a machine in a McDonalds that automatically fills beverage orders on a conveyor belt. On the other hand, higher paid McDonalds employees won’t require as many food stamps and other social welfare benefits because of their higher income. Conservatives should applaud the implications of Starbuck’s righteous move.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Big deal. That 68 cents gets spent somewhere. What does it matter if it’s at Mickey’s or somewhere else?

      • strayaway

        Because every time McDonalds sells a billion burgers, $680,000,000 that will not be spent elsewhere in the economy. My point was that while the better wages of McDonalds’ employees is a good thing, the bad side includes less money being spent elsewhere in the economy. That means fewer jobs elsewhere in the economy. For every action there are usually reactions in economices. On the other hand, there might be fewer food stamps and other government social subsidies to offset the higher wages and some of the $680,000,000 would offset the higher wages.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        How do you know it won’t get spent elsewhere? You give Mickey’s employees a raise, THEY will spend it. Problem solved. I’d spend an extra 68 cents on McDonald’s burgers if it were for the fact that I prefer Burger King.

      • John

        All good points, although I see the Starbucks move as a publicity stunt myself.

      • John

        Where do you come up with those numbers?? And why stop at $10.00 an hour why not 20 you would only have to raise the big mac by what $1.36 sounds great. Look these jobs were never meant to be carriers the are entry level jobs for school kids or supplemental income for retirees. You are not supposed to be trying to raise a family on them. And if you do why the hell should I have to work harder because you are to lazy to try to improve yourself. Hell when my first son was born I was driving a truck Mon-Sat from 4 am – 4pm, going to school 4 nights a week from 6pm-11pm and Sat. night from 5pm-10 and sunday from 9-4 I worked in a lumber yard. Sorry I made it on my own no help from anyone, hell I even paid back my student loans

      • legaceez

        There’s always someone that chimes in and says I was able to work hard and succeed why can’t they?

        Think about this. As “tough” as you had it you can’t even begin to imagine how much rougher it can get out there. Yes obviously there are people that abuse the system but there are also people working twice as hard as you to improve themselves but will never have the opportunity to move up. People that succeed take for granted sometimes the advantageous circumstances they are in and think they are where they are 100% because of their handwork. I don’t care who you are but there is always some luck involved with knowing the right people, being in the right environment, and just plain being at the right place at the right time to any success story. There’s a lot of things out of anybody’s control that will contribute to anyone’s success or failure.

      • Shelly Davis-Cureton

        HERE,HERE! !

      • John

        And what have you done Legaceez. Would you like to go toe to toe. I started working at 9 years old. The only luck I ever had was luck I made. I had to go to court to get the job I have because of my color, but I fought and won out. I was born in the projects of the inner city and pulled myself out. I will not give credit to anyone but my Father and myself.

      • Wendell

        Really? Well, you said you paid back your student loans. Damn, sounds like you didn’t do it all yourself. Sounds like you *gasp* got some help from the government to pay for your higher education! Give credit where credit is due. You did not do it all on your own. For all I know you did most of it, but to say you did it all on your own when you had to take out student loans to pay for your higher education is disingenuous at best, outright lying to yourself at worst.

        I have worked damn hard to get to where I am and to where I’m going, but I know better than to think no credit goes anywhere but to myself and my parents. I will give tons of credit to my professors who wrote recommendations, who helped me with personal statements to apply to law school, to the government for helping me pay for it (despite the interest rates), to the professional development offices at my law school who help assemble databases of jobs in the area and help the students here learn how to apply and how this field is different. Nobody ever gets there on their own, everybody gets some help from somewhere. Hell, you went to court, so I would guess you had a lawyer that went to court with you to get the job.

        Also, the “these jobs were supposed to be entry level” has as much relevance as “social security was supposed to be a retirement supplement.” What they originally were and what they have evolved into are different things. A lot of people work extraordinarily long hours at these “entry level” jobs at low pay because that’s all they can find, or because they’re trying to do school at the same time, or because the company they’re working an “entry level” job for doesn’t really do much to get their employees beyond entry level. Regardless, the fact that someone who works an “entry level” minimum wage job can’t really afford rent, food, a car if they need one, should be considered disgraceful.

      • John

        No Wendell I got no help paying back the loans. I worked two jobs all through school while my wife stayed home with our son. Once I got the first degree I didn’t go back for ten years to continue my education. I never got to court for the job they folded and the Lawyer still took his pound of flesh in the amount of 50K. I understand that SSI evolved into somthing it was not ment to be and that is the reason it is failing. As for the entry level jobs, sorry they are not jobs you can raise a family on and never will be. All of the do gooders who say lets raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour are crazy. Do the math, if you double wages you must make up the loss in profits someplace. It gets passed onto the consumer. That $7.00 #5 at Mickey Ds is now a $14.00 unhappy meal. Going to Ruth’s Chris ya that $27.00 sirlon you always get it’s now $54.00. Your a lawyer so if everything you have to buy doubles what happens to you $400.00 an hour rate? Let me tell you it’s now $800.00. Economics 101 I know they don’t teach that at Law School or Obama might have a better grasp of whats going on. It is not on the company to move employees ahead it is up to the employee. I was driving a truck for my full time job when I got my first degree. The day after I finished school I went to the boss and told him I was all done on the truck, I have a degree now. He said really well you have balls, what do you want to do? I said outside sales, and boom I got the job. If a person cannot get what they need working a job they need to leave or get a second job, When I was in school My wife and I lived in a tiny apartment and I drove a shitbox car until the wheels feel off. And when that happened I went out and got another shitbox. I din’t spend money on going out on beers and tattoos, weed or any other things I consider luxury items. I had friends in the same boat and they just went on doing what they wanted. Guess what I won. Perhaps this will help A Fabel from Aesop My dad taught me like 45 years ago, says alot about today. There are modern versions about what happens when socailizm gets involved but this is the real story. The Ant and the Grasshopper

        In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about,
        chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by,
        bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the

        “Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper,
        “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

        “I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant,
        “and recommend you to do the same.”

        “Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; we have got
        plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and
        continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no
        food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants
        distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had
        collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:

        It is best to prepare for the days of necessity. I fail to see why my hard work should be distributed to anyone other than my own. If there is any left I would be glad to share . But it is not up to the government to tell me when me or mine have enough.

      • GOLDchains

        Too many grasshoppers and way too many words.

      • John

        That’s understandable

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Bite me. I started working a 7 with a paper route.

      • John

        That wasn’t directed at you. so be quiet and make me a sandwich

      • queenofzeegeeks

        “be quiet and make me a sandwich”

        what a brilliant response john!!!!!! wow!!! how innovative!!! I’ve never heard that before!!!!!

      • legaceez

        Look I don’t want to compare stories. Long story short I’m also an inner city kid that came from almost nothing to having a nice paying software engineering job. I was homeless for a year after I dropped out of high school. Got into drugs and all that crap. Despite that I’ve always been employed since 16 years old. Managed to get my GED and a college degree. I even admit though I’ve been lucky to have met the people I have, have loving and supporting friends and family, and at times being at the right place at the right now. Some people will never be so lucky.

        Now that doesn’t prove anything though because it’s my personal experience. Someone else will never be the same. There are many people and events besides your father and yourself that helped you out in ways you will never appreciate or comprehend. A lot of those things are things out of your control. You are full of yourself if you think the only luck you ever had was the luck you made for yourself. That’s borderline narcissism.

      • Cleveland E. Bledsoe Jr.

        Too lazy? Some people are practically born at a disadvantage and many low-income families cannot even afford a higher education. As a recent student who has come into a GREAT amount of debt, I work part-time as a delivery driver and freelance just to make a living. I wouldn’t be condescending to those that work at a fast food chain because it is a much better alternative to not working at all. You have children yourself so I’m not sure why that’s hard to understand why a single mother may want to do anything she can to support her family.

        My mother was working in the school district in CA and got laid off in the 90’s when they cut education funds. She decided to do what she loved doing, cutting hair, but after the economy tipped no one has been getting their hair cut like they used to. So now with minimal related experience and an outdated education, all that’s left are retail jobs and what you call “entry level jobs for school kids or supplemental income for retirees.”

        Everyone’s situation is different. Please don’t generalize that others don’t work hard just because you happened to make it.

      • John

        Apparently you should ask for your money back because I was not being condescending at all. I worked at Mcdonald’s for about a month when I was in high school hated it so I moved on. I started my first job at 9 years old ran two paper stands at the old Charlestown Navy yard was born in the Charlestown housing projects so don’t think I don’t know about sacrifice. And I applaud you mother for doing what needed to be done. However she could have gone to night school as I did and moved up. I understand it is hard I lived it.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Why the animosity? I came from a lower-middle class family in rural Illinois. I became a physician courtesy of the State of Illinois taxpayers and the money I borrowed for medical school. I repay my debt by taking care of Medicaid patients the rich docs don’t want to see. I am, however, the ONLY physician in my high school graduating class of 350+. One became a veterinarian. Most of the rest do good work, a few are chronic failures. We don’t all have the same potential. The difference between me and you is I don’t curse people for not having the same ability, drive and intelligence as I do. And I don’t measure my worth based on the number of expensive toys or big-ass houses I can get. Frankly, I’d be ashamed to admit to such a thing.

      • John

        Well Cleveland a couple of things come to mind. First I will assume you graduated, What was you degree in? Dis you work while you were in school or did you live off you student loans? I would like to state you did not come into a GREAT amount of debt, you in fact created it. I got my first degree in 1984 and didn’t get my second until 1994. I paid off all my loans withing 3 years. It wasn’t easy, in fact it SUCKED. But I did it. Now almost 30 years after I started I own a 14 room home a summer place on a lake and a little piece of land in the mountain 3 cars including a vintage Benz ( I say its old the wife says it’s vintage) A custom Harley Daviidson and a 18 foot bass boat. I didn’t get any of this by sitting around going WOOO IS ME. Until you guys wake up and understand life is hard but its harder if your stupid you will continue down the same path. I have done every shit job you can think of and some you can’t but I made it. Broken home and all. But enough about me how about you. Whats your degree, how do you plan to put it to use. And last but not least hows that “HOPE AND CHANGE ” you voted for working out for ya.

      • Cleveland E. Bledsoe Jr.

        I completely understand what you’re saying, trust me I do. And I have seen people in my generation sit around and expect to get jobs. But I myself have also been working since I was 15 and able to and I LOVE to work and in fact I LOVE to learn. I grew up in a generation where my parents practically pushed college on me. If I could go back and do it again, would I? No, probably not. And I can’t imagine things getting easier when I have kids. But the debt I acquired was because I was told that there was no alternative to get a job unless I wanted to work somewhere like Burger King all of my life (And yes, I worked at BK for awhile while in college). The thing is, I’m not the only one that has been going through this and you’re not the only one with that opinion. So obviously something needs to change (No pun intended).

        But I doubt your amount of debt in the 80’s and early 90’s is in any way equivalent to the amount of debt my generation acquires in 2013. The cost of tuition at a state school in California practically doubled from 2004(ish?) to now. And wages have NOT increased. So you may say, to hell with college, we should get out in the work force and learn something and work for it. Sure, but some of us actually wanted to go to college, actually wanted to do something with our lives, and expected there to be jobs out there.

      • bjlight

        What fulfilling, “carrier” level work are you going to get fresh out of high school with no degree anyway? All the decent manufacturing/manual labor jobs that used to exist all pretty much reside in other countries now. You’re pretty much forced into college to “make something of yourself” since that’s the new bullshit American Dream.

      • Cleveland E. Bledsoe Jr.

        Exactly. Sure, there are ways around being successful without having a degree, but those are so rare and are under special circumstances. I even looked into do things like Audio/Video installation and design (I live in Souther CA, there’s a large market for that) and even then you still have to get a low-voltage license and preferably a degree in electrical. If you’re already working a full-time “non-career” type of job, how can you spend time to go back to school? In my case, I already went to school, and if I could study more, I absolutely would. I would’ve gotten my masters if I could afford it.

        No jobs these days actually hire you and then train you or send you to school. Nope, you need to go to school and meet the prerequisites first, but when you’re ready to work and be hired, there are none available. My GF also works retail in a management position, and she’s always disheartened by the types of people that apply for minimum wage associate jobs (People with a ton of experience and very over qualified persons).

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        That HOPE and CHANGE worked out just fine for me. My IRA has recovered after taking TWO beatings during the Bush years.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        That HOPE and CHANGE worked out just fine for me. My IRA has recovered after taking TWO beatings during the Bush years.

      • bjlight

        There’s one last thing I have to say about you: how the hell do you get paid anything resembling a decent wage considering you have fucking zero grasp of the English language?

      • John

        I apologize for my dyslexia I do my best. Funny however even with the learning disability I managed to get two degrees and rise above a minimum wage job. Maybe thats why I have no patience for people who think they should make 50K a year for serving coffee and bagels

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Yeah, and I walked to school 7 miles in a snowstorm uphill both ways with no shoes.

        The minimum wage in Australia is about $16/hr and they manage just fine.

        The average age of Mickey’s workers is 28, not high schoolers. If that is the only job available, it’s either McDonald’s or welfare. You ignorant libertarians don’t want to admit (1) everyone doesn’t come with the same abilities and (2)good paying jobs aren’t just lying around waiting to be picked up.

      • John

        No I only walked to school from grades 1-6 and it was up hill only one way. But i carried my brother and had no shoes no socks and no feet ( insert sarcasm here). The part about walking to school is true however. Were are you getting your numbers from? Oh and I understand the jobs aren’t lying around. Perhaps you should look to Washington on that issue. And yes I understand people don’t all come with the same abilities as I just explained to one of you liberal cohorts I have a learning disability myself. I had to explain that because in the typical liberal fashion of inclusion he commented on my abuse of the english language. But I still managed through hard work to get where I am today. Although I must admit that I did collect unemployment once for three months when I first got back from the military and couldn’t find work. Come to think of it the military pays pretty good.

      • bjlight

        I get that you boot-strapped your blood, sweat and tears to elbow grease yourself and your white picket fence to the GLORIOUS AMERICAN WAY.

        It doesn’t fucking work like that in 2013, ace. The previous generations and their corporate greed (who are now running the corporations) have seen to that…stacking the deck against the youth while simultaneously trying to blame us for not succeeding the same way they did (inside the system that they broke).

      • John

        I will make sure I tell all the young kids I work with who are buying their first homes. Oh and by the way I didn’t buy my first home until 1994. I think you are watching a little much Continuum with all this corporation talk. Oh and you hero CEO is the head of a corporation by the way, without said corporation all those baristas would be out of work. You are aware under the last great socialist leader we had (Jimmy Carter) people were paying 18-20% mortgage rates and unemployment was about 14%. Of course there were a lot more of those evil corporations around back then so there were factory jobs but all those good government regulations and unions help kill those jobs. But still if you get up and work at it you to can have the white picket fence, and by the way whats wrong with the American Dream. I never thought I would be here myself but I was determined that I wasn’t going to raise my kids in some shithole. So I broke my ass. Funny thing I notice is all of you eat the rich cry babies and this includes you with you condescending Bootstrap remarks all blame everything wrong in the world on somebody else. Well since you won’t get off you fat asses and do something about it (and I don’t mean occupy, I loved that by the way all the little rich kids bithc’n about evil corporation while Facebooking on their Iphones. Until of course the real homeless started taking their shit, then they called the evil police) I guess you should go back down to Mommy’s basement and play more world of warcraft.

      • queenofzeegeeks

        you’re not “supposed” to be raising a family on them, because there are “supposed” to be better jobs available. but alas, there aren’t. also, you mention in other comments here that your wife stayed home with your newborn son so you could work and study. single parents don’t have that luxury.

      • Jonathan Galtman

        The “study” that the recent report making this claim used, was debunked. Most of the news sites that ran the story removed them when it was discovered.

      • John

        Post the link

      • James Panetta

        Excuse me spy, are you trying to call the products at Mc Donalds and Walmart quality goods. Are you saying they don’t rip off customers. You think Mc Donalds coffee is better than Star Bucks. My friend you are a deluded little conservative.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I don’t like either one’s coffee.

      • Dirk

        Spy, you’re an idiot! Turn off Fox News this instant and read books and get the facts!

      • Mita

        Did you know that Walmarts CEO ALONE makes millions more than what they pay out in wages for all of their stores?? So, all these companies saying that they can’t afford it is all BS.

      • John

        As well he should.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Why should he? Sam wasn’t that greedy. If there were no employees, there would be no Wal-Mart

      • John

        Benefits LOL you really think the kid behind the counter is getting healthcare??

      • bigyaz

        McDonald’s sells unhealthy meals of fat, grease and salt that cost them pennies to make and mark up to ridiculous prices. Wal-Mart beats down its suppliers for the lowest prices possible, then pays its employees crap. So spare me the talk of Starbucks “ripping off” its customers — who obviously find value in the product and are willing to pay their prices.

      • Kloretto

        They do rip off their customers, otherwise the Walton’s wouldn’t be 5 of the top 10 wealthiest people in America while their employees have to struggle to get in 23.99 hours per week so that the company does not have to pay them benefits and gives them classes on how to qualify for the Welfare System.

    • ScottTiger

      Costco, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks. Aside from a couple of local businesses, this is all I need, and all 3 of these companies are entirely fair with their employees.

      • raggedcompany

        Unfortunately I don’t have Costco where I live, though I hear a Trader Joe’s is supposed to open in my area this fall. I’ll have to check them out. Thank you!

      • John

        Yup great jobs at competitive wages LOL. You think the stuff in these stores just appears magically on the shelfs? And you really think the college kid behind the counter at starbucks is getting health care? Listen next time you go in for your $5.00 Almond Mocha Grande as the kid who makes it if he is getting health care and ask him if he is making $23.00 an hour. Why $23.00 because that is the lowball hourly equivalent of what a single mother of two makes on welfare in Massachusetts and that comes with health and dental.

      • KTC

        Link that supports that number please John. I found that a woman in CA with 2 kids would get $694 a month, or about $173 a week. A far cry from $23 an hour. *rolls eyes*

      • John

        Here you go from the Boston Herald Home › Archives › Liberal Massachusetts: Where NOT Working Pays $42,000/Year

        Liberal Massachusetts: Where NOT Working Pays $42,000/Year

        Posted on 08/21/2013

        The Cato Institute has released its most recent study of how much Americans can collect on the dole if they qualify for all the programs states make available.

        You won’t be surprised to learn that Massachusetts ranks 3rd in the nation for generous welfare benefit. Or maybe you are surprised–that it’s not number one. But we’re hardly alone in being very, very generous to people who don’t work–and don’t want to:

        Nationwide, our study found that the wage-equivalent value of benefits for a mother and two children ranged from a high of $60,590 in Hawaii to a low of $11,150 in Idaho. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than an $8-an-hour job. In 12 states and DC, the welfare package is more generous than a $15-an-hour job.

        Of course, not everyone on welfare gets all seven of the benefits in our study. But, for many recipients — particularly the “long-term” dependents — welfare clearly pays substantially more than an entry-level job.

        Here are the numbers:

        Note that, not only do welfare recipients in Massachusetts earn $42, 500 in benefits, but they’re earning $5,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars than in 1995. So not only on the “poor” getting rich, they’re getting richer.

        As Cato reports:

        Far from condemning welfare recipients to a life of poverty, welfare actually exceeds the FPL in 42 states and the District of Columbia. In fact, in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, welfare pays more than twice the poverty level.

        And if $42,515 to not work a day in your life sounds like a lot, consider this: If you actually DID work–and pay taxes–you’d have to earn $50,540 to take home that $42k. Do you earn $50k working fulltime? Then why are you working at all, when you can collect the post-tax equivalent by sitting on your butt?

        The EBT Voodoo Queen is right: Work IS for dumb mother*******s.

      • GOLDchains

        A quick google search and you will find that the study by Cato was debunked already. Have you looked at who is behind Cato?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        CATO is a notorious libertarian outfit. Six years ago I argued with one of their sweet young thing shills hawking CATO outside a conference I attended. She kept droning on about being responsible for her own health care insurance but tripped herself up by admitting her employer set up a $5000 flex care fund for her.

      • DaleC

        Wages and benefits voluntarily paid by employer IS her being responsible for her healthcare.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Nope, her EMPLOYER is responsible for her health care. Everyone doesn’t have the luxury of working for someone who will pay for their benefits (like fast-food workers). There are people who have to pay sticker price for their insurance with after-tax dollars. When she is shucking out $1200/month for insurance with no employer subsidy, THEN you can tell me she’s being responsible. Otherwise, someone else is footing the bill, which is no different from the Obamacare subsidies conservatives like to whine about.

        Get employers out of the insurance business and make everyone buy health insurance on the open market and we’ll have a much fairer system. But the screaming will be deafening!

      • DaleC

        Since it is part of her compensation, and is money unavaialble to her for other salary and bnenefits, SHE is paying it. Also, a young persons medical insurance would be nowhere near $ 1200/month. If the employer chooses to cover part of the cost, then that is an arms legnth negotiation between her and her employer. Bottom line – she is paying it.

        The only change I would make to your last paragraph is to replace “employers” with “government”. Emplopyes should be free to offer benefits, if they CHOOSE to do so. Do you know why employers provide medical benefits? Wage controls instituted by the federal government during WII forced them to offer benefits, other than higher pay, to attract labor.

        ALL problems with medical insurance stem from government involvement. Make it like car insurance (portable across state lines, dramatically reduced minimum coverage, allow catastrophic coverage, don’t have it cover EVERYTHING) and watch price go down and quality go up. Can you imagine what car insuance would cost if it paid for tires, brake pads and oil changes? That is, basically, what medical insurance does.

        I bet we agree on more than we disagree here.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Either all employers should offer benefits or none. The people who work whose employers can’t or won’t offer benefits shouldn’t be penalized, expected to pay sticker price for otherwise heavily subsidized insurance, and demonized by people like you who think jobs with benefits are just lying around waiting to be picked up. I got news for you; there is no “negotiation” right now in the job market. You either take the job and the unpaid overtime that comes with it or someone else will.

        No, we don’t agree. Insurance is a hedge against future financial loss. People getting car insurance hope they never have to use it. People getting health insurance expect to use it and are angry when they pay a boatload of money and get told, “No.”

        I don’t know how old you are but insurance was a lot cheaper 50 years ago because we had “major medical” that paid for hospitalization and you paid the doctor out of your pocket.Insurance has become a discount card for a lot of things that it
        shouldn’t pay for. An annual checkup should be as cheap as an oil

      • DaleC

        I disagree about all or none. What’s the next step, everone has the same vacation or work week? Everyone gets paid the same? Employers should have the freedom to offer, or not offer, benefits as they see fit. Conversely, employees should be able to accept or reject the employers offer. When I owned my own business, If an employee didn’t like the benefits I offered, they were free to go work for someone who offered what they wanted. Employees don’t all want the same thing.

        Some employers DO give the employee the money, instead of the benefit. I know a lot of independent contractors who are in precisely tht arrangement. Unfortunate;y, the individual can’t take advantage of the purchasing power that the employer enjoys, therefore, it would cost the employer more money or the individual would be unable to purchase an equivalent policy.

        I had the policy to which you refer to five years ago, with a very gigh deductible which woyld cover me for catastrophic illness. That type of policy is illegal under ObamaCare. I now pay up front for basic medical services, you would be amazed at how cheaply a doctor will work when they don’t have to deal with the claims process, especially to get a reduced payout from Medicare or Medicaid.

        You missed the point of my comparison of auto insurance to health insurance. We cover too much with medical insurance, therefore, it is expensive. IT is also more highly regulated, therefore, it is more expensive.

        The pre-existing condition presents the perfect argument for Medicare/Medicaid.

        Thank God, FDR “pussied out”, he did enough damage with what he did mange to get passed.

        Medical care became too expensive, and less effective, when the government got involved in telling us how to do it better, so, clearly, the answer is MORE government intervention? Yeah, OK.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Uh, show me where a high deductible policy for catastrophic illness is illegal under Obamacare.

        Yeah, that doctor will work for cheap until you have a very expensive illness. Lemme see you pay cash if someone broadsides your car and you end up in the hospital for several months.

        If it weren’t for FDR, seniors would still be living in poverty.

        Show me how “government” made medical care more expensive. It would appear the insurance industry and pure greed are responsible for that. Better yet, PROVE it with a verifiable analysis. Every other country with a single payor has LOWER health care costs than we do.

      • DaleC

        ACA has minimum coverage requirements not met by catastrophic, high-deductible coverages, therefore it does not satisfy the requirements and I will be penalized.

        Your second paragraph is the exact case for high-deductible caastrophoc coverage.

        The poverty level in the US is unchanged since FDR and many seniors reliant on Social Security DO live in poverty.

        When the government requires me to carry coveage that I do not need, it makesmedical insurance more expensive. When it sets reimbursement rates and denies payment under Medicare/Medicaid, it makes health care mpore expensive. Can you show me ANY product or service made cheaper by government involvement?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Why is what government does (sets reimbursement rates and denies payment) any different from what insurance companies do and have always done? The Blues administer our insurance plan and they routinely knock off a large percentage of my doctor’s charges.

        How does that make medical care more expensive? It should make it LESS expensive. The Japanese were able to develop a much cheaper CT scanner because of limited reimbursement. The system we have encourages doing more because they know they’ll get paid.

        You do realize that medical “charges” are completely arbitrary and have absolutely nothing to do with the cost of providing services? And 300% markups are pretty much standard for surgical equipment?

      • DaleC

        The difference between government and insurance companies? Insurance companies have SOME competition. If there was less government regulation of them, especially the ability to sell across state lines and elimination of minimum coverage requirements, they would be as competitive as other forms of insurance.

        The “blues” knock that amount off because reimburesemnt rates are tied to Medicare/Medicaid. The fact that they do that reinforces my negotiation argument. If the doc knows up front that they won’t have to go to the expense and hassle of billing insurance, they charge me less up front. Way less.

        Government regulations increase costs. Is medical care and the equipment involved regulated? Then it drives up costs. When I am forced to buy insurance that covers treatments that I don’t want, like psychiatric care or substance abuse treatment, costs go up. When tort reform is not implemented, costs go up. A MEdicaid patient comes to see a doctor, but, unkown to the doc, that patient has used up their annual bebefits. The doc treats them and is reimbursed zero, driving that cost to the rest of us, costs go up.

        I can keep going.

        Know they will get paid? I should let you talk to my three in-laws who are docs in rural Alabama and, routinely, receive 0% reimbursements from Medicaid.

        300% markups for surgical equipment? So what? What do you think the markup is on a Starbucks coffee? Or a Coca-Cola? The charges for medical services have exactly the same relationship to costs as do all other services and goods, in that they must exceed the costs. Inflated costs are ALWAYS present when paying with other peoples money.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Insurance companies have almost NO competition. You still have demonstrated that government has driven up the cost of health care. You are confusing reimbursement with cost.

        And you are also ignoring that, because of ACA, premiums offered by the exchanges are coming in LOWER than predicted.

        If government got out of health care tomorrow, health care wouldn’t be any cheaper. If the Blues didn’t discount based on Medicare, they’d either pay sticker price and pass the increase onto whoever is paying the premiums, or they would pay even less and pass the burden onto the patient.

        You are “forced” to buy insurance because the cost of treating the uninsured is borne by everyone. SO, you live here, you should be contributing to the common good, whether or not you like it. That is the price you pay to live in a communal society like ours. If you don’t like that, you are free to move somewhere else where the government doesn’t demand such onerous burdens. Try Somalia.

        And, you do realize I’m a physician with 30+ years in the biz. I think we need a single-payor and government price control. THEN the cost of health care will go down. The rest of the world does it, why shouldn’t we. Our outcomes aren’t any better despite spending far more money.

      • DaleC

        We will agree to disagree.

        I will take the opinions of the three MD’s (each with over 30 years) to whom I am related and the best friend who supervises a Level 1 trauma ER over yours.

        “Cost” is what you pay. “Reimbursement” is what is paid. They are the same.

        By your logic, I should be forced to exercise and eat healthy food because the cost of my future health problems are borne by everyone. Tellme, at what point can I NOT be forced to buy things because it benefits everyone else?

        The US didn’t have such onerous burdens when I was a child and we were healthier and could afford doctor visits without insurance.

        If you don’t think I have presented arguments for government involvement and regulation increasing the cost of health care, I guess the best explanation is that you spent your life studying medicine and I spent mine studying business. You understand pricing and competition about as well as I understand biology and bactaria.

        No, I can’t realize something that I have never been told.

        Single payer? No thank you. Cost will go down, rationing will go WAY up and medical tourism will boom.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Cost and Reimbursement are NOT the same. Any college business major will tell you that. You are confusing cost with price. Cost is the amount of money needed to provide a good or service. Price (or in the case of medicine, charge) is the amount of money one asks for that good or service. It may cost me 10 cents to produce a widget, but I would never make any money if I sold it for 10 cents.

        Most physicians have absolutely no idea how much it costs to render a service, especially if they employed by a mega-group, as most of the physicians in the Chicago suburbs. Most of them have no idea of the cost of the pharmaceuticals they prescribe.

        SOME of us could afford office visits when you and I were kids because INSURANCE didn’t pay for everything. We had catastrophic coverage and that was it. Once insurance companies started adding benefits to their packages, there was an incentive to hike the prices because the list price wasn’t realistic. Government wasn’t responsible for that.

        We already have a single-payor system. It’s called Medicare. Ask any senior if they want to go back to the good old days.

        We’ve always had rationing based on ability to pay. So tell me why the rest of the civilized world has a single payor and they haven’t died off. The Canadians I know would never trade their system for the US system.

      • DaleC

        “Cost” has multiple meanings, depending on your position in the transactio. In this discussion, “cost” is the price of the service born by the consumer, at least that is what i thought we were discussing. Perhaps that is part of a miscommunication. BTW, I am a college business grad, so I know

        The government got involved as THE biggest insurance company. “Any college business major” can tell you that distorted the market. It also got involved through ever increasing regulations, especially for hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.

        If Medicare is so great, why do my parents have to buy private insurance to supplement it? Why have I been waiting almost 90-days for them to RE-authorize medication for my Mom? Yeah, it’s freaking awesome. My 76-year old parents would LOVE to have private insurance, but the cost is prohibitive, due to Medicare driving private insurers to abandon that market segment.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Medicare is “so freakin’ awesome” because insurance companies don’t want to (and have never wanted to) underwrite old people who might actually use their benefits. Show me ANY insurer who would provide policies for people in their 70s, 80s, etc. I don’t know any senior that would want to try buying insurance. I’m looking forward to hitting 65 for just that reason.

        The AVERAGE cost of a family policy is now $16,350. How many seniors on SS could afford that? Could your parents afford that? Could they afford to be individually rated instead of community rated?

        You have Medicare part A and Part B. A covers hospitals. B covers physicians, but not everything, so one gets “Medigap” policies. And you don’t thing those of us with private insurance don’t have to jump through hoops??? Lemme tell you sometime about the fiasco with my BPH meds and our cheapass mail-order pharmacy benefit provider.

      • DaleC

        My parents had private insurance until their mid-50’s when their provider started, intentionally, pricing themselves out of the business and were VERY happy with it. Private insurers covered those people fo decades before Medicare/Medicaid priced them out of the market.

        Don’t like your private insurance? Change companies. Chosen by your employer? Then lobby them to change. Don’t like your pharmacy provider? You are a doctor, couldn’t you buy your own? Are BPH meds prohibitively expensive? How about a Canadian mail order pharmacy? That is negotiation.

        Earlier you argued that insurance companies increased costs by offerring more and more benefits. Part of, if not the majority of, the reason they did so was because of increasing minimum coverage requirements by individual states. For instance, in the state we lived in at the time, my wife was forced to buy maternity coverage, despite no possibility of us having a child. We were both forced to buy psychiatric care, substance abuse care and other coverages tht we would never need. Uneeded coverage = increased and uneccessary costs. Government drove that.

      • DaleC

        BPH meds? You can, probably, get a months supply of a generic for about $ 4 at WalMart

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I’m an independent contractor. I’m not eligible for group benefits on my own. We get our insurance through my wife’s job at a church. The Diocese is self-insured and if you think any of us can get them to change anything, you are dreaming. They make the postal service look positively speedy. The pharmacy benefit provider comes with the plan; we have to use them for any maintenance medications.

        The problem I had was because the pharmacy benefit provider didn’t want to deal with the drug company’s reimbursement offer (patient pays $15/month for drug for 1 year), so I ended up paying $150 for 90 days. My solution will be just to get a script for the older alternative. Yes, I can order my own medications but I don’t like end runs around me, so I’m not going to do an end run around my doctor.

        Maternity coverage in my experience is extra and not mandatory unless you want to have a baby. Most insurers don’t want to provide mental health benefits, even though we’d have a far more productive workforce if everyone could get their heads shrunk.

        There are many reasons health care in the US is so expensive. Mandated benefits are only a small part. The biggest reason is it’s a for-profit system. Insurers don’t care as long as they can increase premiums.

        Going back to our childhoods; care was cheaper because we didn’t have expensive things to play with. No lasers, laparoscopic surgery, CABG, stents, robotic surgery, CT and MRI, anti-TNF drugs like Enbrel, Humira and Remicade (all about $3K for 8 weeks therapy), LASIK, organ transplants, and so on.

      • DaleC

        I know ALL about the current job market. I am currently working for about 1/4th what I made three years ago. I am starting over, in a new industry.

        I don’t “demonize” anyone. I don’t know where you got that idea, since I am one of the people you think “people like me” (said by a person who has no clue what I am) demonize. Keep your prejudice to yourself.

        BTW, an annual checkup IS as cheap as an oil change for me, because I don’t use insurance for routine medical costs.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Try living in the Chicago suburbs. A routine checkup will run $250 if you are a woman. There ain’t no bargaining for paying cash.

      • DaleC

        I travelled in my previous work for long periods of time away from home. I negotiated cash payments (actually, Amex and VISA) in the suburbs, and downtons, of Houston, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta and Birmingham with medical doctors and dentists. I don’t see why Chicago is any different. I stopped typing my reply to call a friend who lives in one of the nw burbs of Chicago and works in Schaumburg. He does the same thing. His daughter negotiated delivery of her child down to $ 3800, total cost. His wife’s long-term cancer treatments were coveed by catastrophic coverage.

        Bargaining is there, but it takes some work.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        There are plenty of people who can’t afford $3800 out of pocket for a delivery. And that probably does not include the hospital bill.

      • DaleC

        If a parent can’t save $3800 in nine+ months, how will they afford the child after it is born? They cost a lot more than that.

        Yes, it included the hospital bills, delivery suite, medications, anesthesiologist. That is what “total cost” means.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Then show me the bill. I’ve never known an anesthesiologist or a hospital to offer a discount to ANYONE. One of the hospitals here told a waitress with no insurance that if she would give them $60,000 in three months towards the $100,000 hospital bill incurred when she had a heart attack, they’d call it even.

        Let me know how they go about negotiating when a catastrophic illness hits. Cancer chemotherapy runs about $75,000/year. Major trauma could land someone in the hospital for a few months.

      • DaleC

        I don’t have the bill because it wasn’t MY baby.

        Negotiate catastrphic illness? For the THIRD damned time in this thread, THAT is what high-deductible catastrophic coverage is for. How hard is that to understand? No kidding it’s expensive, that is why I have ALWAYS bought my own insurance, to cover CATASTROPHIC events, not routine checkups. Catastrohic events LIKE CANCER or a car wreck!!!

        Please forgive the CAPS, but you clearly didn’t comprehend it the first few times I said it, nor do you seem to understand catastrophic coverage. That or you refuse to recognize it as a good idea because it makes more sense than ACA or single payer.

        You tell me that what I have been doing for over ten years is not true. Just because YOU haven’t seen it doesn’t mean that I, and THOUSANDS of others, haven’t done it.

        Funny, you have not offered a shred of evidence to support your contentions, yet I have to prove every thing I say?

        Good day.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        For the THIRD time, you were the one that brought up negotiating prices (your friend’s daughter). Why is she negotiating if she has insurance? And if she negotiated because she didn’t have insurance, my question about negotiating in the case of a catastrophic illness/injury still stands.

        Prior to the ACA, an insurance company could drop you if your catastrophic illness/injury cost them too much. Now there are no lifetime caps. Or, after your illness/injury, your premiums could be unaffordable.

        What contentions would you like me to substantiate? I already documented that catastrophic policies weren’t illegal, as you had stated.

        And tell me how I am wrong asserting cost and price aren’t the same.

      • DaleC

        Actually, your post about catastrophic policies shows them to be unavailable to anyon over 30 who can’t get coverage for less than 8% of their income. That is me and tenos of millions of other Americans. It is, de facto, illegal for us.

        She negotiated because she had catastrophic coverage and the negotiated amount was less than he deductible.

        Your question about negotiating in the case of castrophic coverage? If you can negotiate a cost that is less than the deductible, you benefit by negotiating.

        I think the “cost” v “reimbursement” confusion was that I saw “cost” as what is paid for a good or service by the customer. You, I think, presented it as the cost of the service provided by the physician.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Another solution. Give her the extra money and let her buy her own insurance instead of subsidizing it. I’d be happy with that. Now she had to get it on the open market with after tax dollars like 40% of the workforce.

      • soneill34

        Posting the Herald for actual facts is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while.

      • John

        closest info I had the Globe had it to I also suggested the state audit from the welfare reform act.

      • ryan

        ^haughty eyes, strong indication of a mind that lacks understanding. $694 a month Strong indication, that you did not total up health and dentil benefit values alone, let alone SNAP, section 8 etc. Good night, no use explaining.

      • Jay

        Having been in store management at Starbucks, I know for certain that any partner working part time is eligible for health insurance, at no additional expense. There were several employees in my store that only worked enough hours to keep the insurance benefit. No, they did not make $23 an hour, but the free health insurance more than made up for that. The starting wage for partners in my area was more than minimum wage. I, too, would like to see the source for your numbers, as they seem a bit inflated to me.

      • John

        From the Boston Herald Home › Archives › Liberal Massachusetts: Where NOT Working Pays $42,000/Year

        Liberal Massachusetts: Where NOT Working Pays $42,000/Year

        Posted on 08/21/2013

        The Cato Institute has released its most recent study of how much Americans can collect on the dole if they qualify for all the programs states make available.

        You won’t be surprised to learn that Massachusetts ranks 3rd in the nation for generous welfare benefit. Or maybe you are surprised–that it’s not number one. But we’re hardly alone in being very, very generous to people who don’t work–and don’t want to:

        Nationwide, our study found that the wage-equivalent value of benefits for a mother and two children ranged from a high of $60,590 in Hawaii to a low of $11,150 in Idaho. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than an $8-an-hour job. In 12 states and DC, the welfare package is more generous than a $15-an-hour job.

        Of course, not everyone on welfare gets all seven of the benefits in our study. But, for many recipients — particularly the “long-term” dependents — welfare clearly pays substantially more than an entry-level job.

        Here are the numbers:

        Note that, not only do welfare recipients in Massachusetts earn $42, 500 in benefits, but they’re earning $5,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars than in 1995. So not only on the “poor” getting rich, they’re getting richer.

        As Cato reports:

        Far from condemning welfare recipients to a life of poverty, welfare actually exceeds the FPL in 42 states and the District of Columbia. In fact, in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, welfare pays more than twice the poverty level.

        And if $42,515 to not work a day in your life sounds like a lot, consider this: If you actually DID work–and pay taxes–you’d have to earn $50,540 to take home that $42k. Do you earn $50k working fulltime? Then why are you working at all, when you can collect the post-tax equivalent by sitting on your butt?

        The EBT Voodoo Queen is right: Work IS for dumb mother*******s.


        if you bothered to actually read that it states:
        “The Cato Institute has released its most recent study of how much Americans can collect on the dole IF they qualify for ALL the programs states make available.”
        key words IF and ALL…most people DO NOT qualify for every program any given state offers and some are redundant…so nice try Dr. Spin

      • John

        Thats not really what it says at all it says not everyone will gets all seven benifits but most do. And how about hose EBT cards we have people who have thousands on the ballance, people who have more than one card, and even dead people getting them. You asked for a source I gave one. Playing cat and dor or cat or dog and you call me Dr. Spin to funny

      • bigyaz

        Ha! The Cato Institute. Nice, unbiased source, founded by the Koch brother, the billionaires who are out to reward their rich friends and screw the poor at every opportunity.

      • GOLDchains

        Don’t forget the Koch bros are the biggest polluters in the US. You don’t think they have an agenda? They hate welfare and Obamacare, but love to get you sick, maybe even kill you. No biggie… right John?

      • ChiHD

        You do realize that they looked at 8 different programs and just added all the benefits together to get a value above the minimum wage. Most people only qualify for 1 or 2 of the programs at any given point which puts them well below the minimum. The Cato findings is based on the “best” possible scenario and by “best” I mean you are so messed up that you actually qualify to collect from all 8. In reality, that is not the case and there are hardly anyone that actually meet the same criteria the study was based on.

      • John

        Oh they didn’t even touch what’s available. Clothing allowence, free cell phone, free daycare, and on and on it goes

      • ChiHD

        This doesn’t address what I said though. I am saying that most recipients of these programs do not benefit from so many at one time. They do not all have the same requirements and each has to be signed off by an officer that determines whether the individuals are qualified to receive the benefits. There are a many available, but I am contesting the exaggerated figure that resulted from combining 8 programs together into one when the vast majority of recipients get only 1 or 2 at a time.

      • John

        The majority of the people who apply get the full boat. And then some as I have shown. Denial is not a river in Egypt.

      • ChiHD

        You have not shown anything. The only thing you posted that “showed” anything was the Cato report which was based on a false premise as stated previously. The majority of people do not benefit from as many as 8 different programs and that is a fact. I could say the same about you being in denial.

        “Nationwide, in Fiscal Year 2010, there were a total of 1,847,155 households with active TANF cases. In the same fiscal year, 18,618,436 households received SNAP (food stamp) benefits, and another 65,989,147 individuals (~25,577,188 households based on the census 2.58 individuals/household) received medicaid benefits. According to the Cato report’s own definitions, households on both of those programs should be “welfare families.” With less than 10% of SNAP households also receiving TANF, and less than 3% of Medicaid households receiving SNAP, it’s easy to see that Cato’s “typical welfare family” is actually based on an extreme case, not on anything that any of us would consider to be an “average.””

        Source: http://scientopia.ORG/blogs/authority/2013/08/21/no-cato-welfare-doesnt-pay-more-than-minimum-wage/

        By Cato’s own data and criteria only a very small percentage of recipients from 1 program benefit from another. Despite this Cato is assuming a combination of 8 different programs when in fact only a small percentage of people actually qualify to receive from multiple programs. Cato can certainly say that the potential for welfare beneficiaries to exceed minimum wage exists but only in extreme cases. It is completely dishonest of them to claim that it is the average case.

      • william

        so john whats your point. poor people are the cause of the national woes.

      • John

        Do you make 50K a year for doing nothing??? I would hardly call that poor, I would say thats pretty good you ask me.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        WHo makes $50K a year for doing nothing, besides a Congressman.

      • John

        Mother of 2 on welfare in Ma. and thats a conservative estimate. Oh and a Congressman makes a lot more than 50K a year and if he completes one term he gets his full pay for life with free medical

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Uh, you mean that bogus CATO report? Got a reference and a name?

      • John

        Have already posted them. You can read the report read into the record in congress under the Clinton administration during the supposed welfare reform act. The numbers were statistically the same based on the money at that time. And your saying that the cato report is bogus does not make it so. I haven’t seen anything posted that says it was retracted or incorrect.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Then you obviously haven’t been reading this thread, or paying attention. Typical conservative. I believe Sad Faced Clown already responded, as did ChiHD:

        “By Cato’s own data and criteria only a very small percentage of
        recipients from 1 program benefit from another. Despite this Cato is
        assuming a combination of 8 different programs when in fact only a small
        percentage of people actually qualify to receive from multiple
        programs. Cato can certainly say that the potential for welfare
        beneficiaries to exceed minimum wage exists but only in extreme cases.
        It is completely dishonest of them to claim that it is the average case.”

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Another section from ChiHD’s link:

        “…Hawai‘i, according to Cato, has the most generous benefits. Cato’s up front calculation says Hawai‘i “typical welfare recipients” receive $49,175 in welfare benefits. Their “typical typical” calculation drops
        that to $23,235. Cato’s Medicaid calculation for Hawai‘i is $6,776. The minimum wage family is several thousand dollars better off than the
        “typical welfare family.”

        In Mississippi, which Cato ranks dead last in welfare generosity, the up front calculation gives welfare families $16,984. Mississippi provides housing assistance to less than 10% of TANF families, so Cato’s “typical typical” calculation isn’t much different ($15,261). Cato’s Medicaid calculation for Mississippi is $6,909, putting the minimum wage
        family at nearly $26,000 – more than $10,000 better off than most welfare families…

        …In short – too late – there appears to be NO state where a family in the same situation as the family Cato used for their welfare calculations will be worse off if employed at a minimum wage job. Zero. None. Nada.

        To put it another way, Cato’s statement that, “The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work,” is not
        just a lie in general, it’s a lie in all 50 states, and in the District of Columbia…”

      • Gary Luke

        The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch,[6] chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries.[nb 1] In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute.[6][7] Cato was established to have a focus on public advocacy, media exposure and societal influence.[8] According to the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), Cato is number 14 in the “Top Thirty Worldwide Think Tanks” and number 6 in the “Top Fifty United States Think Tanks”.[9]

        The Institute’s website states, “The mission of the Cato Institute is
        to originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public
        policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.”[10]

        You’ll note that their mission statement remarks with the words, limited government, free markets, and peace.

        This is an example of Confirmation Bias. The basic principle is people will generally attempt to find evidence to confirm their beliefs, and not attempt to find evidence that conflicts with their beliefs. Since This Cato Institute (Which was founded by Charles Koch by the way) is obligated by their mission statement, It’s pretty much improbable that they would publish information that conflicted with said statement.

      • John

        Ok Gary try this one commonwealh of Ma. State Auditors report 1994 re ad into the record in Congress under Bill Clinton during welfare reform act. Its nothing new just confirmed by the Cato ins.This most rrecent one was also paid for by the state.

      • Gary Luke

        Nicely done John. I believe I see the point you were making, and in trueth I can’t deny that the Cato Ins. has indeed reported factually accurate information. However, the specific item you refer to has very little in the way of political capital. My problem with the Cato Institute is that it remains obligated to a prevailing doctrine. What I don’t often see within these types of reports are defenders of the originating concept. I would prefer articles that present both sides of a point, and let the facts express the trueth, rather then a one sided implication.

      • John

        Nicely done?? Just pointing out the facts.

      • John

        I only know about the state report because I personally know one of the auditors who did the study. And he informs me that #1 the numbers are a very conservative estimate. And #2 that the legislators went ballistic when they saw it, and not because they wanted to use it for reform but because it showed that we are pouring money down the drain.

      • kim bunchalastnames

        yes, i think the kid behind the counter at starbuck’s is getting health care. in fact, i know he is, as i know him.

      • John

        Very good Kim would you mind telling us #1 whats you hourly wage and #2 do you intend to make this you carrier or do you intend to move on at some point? I am very serious because some people here feel that your job should pay enough to raise a family. Say as much as an iron worker, cop, firefighter, foutune 500 executive. Where is the line drawn?

      • JohnIsDumb

        you don’t read very well, or comprehend what you read, do you?

      • william

        If one works everyday full time, why shouldnt one make a living wage.

      • John

        Agreed but what is a living wage? It is based on the job you do. Should a bag boy at the supermarket make the same as say a computer code writer? You see socialism looks great on paper but it never works. Here is why, If I spend twelve years in school then eight years in college to become say a doctor and you spend 9 years in school then decide you want to go surfing and smoke weed and knock up your girlfriend. Why should you be entitled to the fruits of my labor. In other words I get the Benz you get the vespa.

      • GL

        John, here’s the thing. What if I’m the 28-year-old single father looking to pay rent, utilities, food costs, clothing costs (because let’s be honest, my kid isn’t going to school in the nude and you can’t just have one outfit), gas, car payments (either lease or loan repayment), auto insurance, possibly life or health insurance… wow, look at all those costs that add up. Plus student loans, because I probably got a college degree, maybe something “useless” like Art History but more likely something with a glut of job applicants like Computer Science or Business. Plus, I have to have health insurance because, let’s face it, the other option is working in a kitchen while I have a fever, a dripping nose, a hacking cough, and enough nausea that it’s a wonder I’m not throwing up on the hamburger of you, who’s just come in for a burger on his lunch break (which, by the way, probably lasts longer for you than it does for me, assuming I even get one).

        A living wage is a necessity because there are a lot more of these single fathers, single mothers, or impoverished BUT WORKING parents. Many of whom are applying for other, better jobs — because even if you made $40 an hour doing it, who in the hell would want to come home at night smelling like used fryer oil, the stench not only seeping into your clothes but clinging to your skin, unable to be washed off because no matter how hard you scrub or how many times you wash your clothes, you’re going to have to go back there, back to the heat and the steam and the grease… Even in the cleanest kitchens, there’s grease and fat and sweat when it gets hot enough, and you know that this job is a dead end. You’re not advancing from in here. Maybe from out front, you can climb a rung or two. Night manager, possibly even store manager. But not back in the kitchen. Not back there.

        So you search, and maybe you get lucky and find a second job — but your $8-an-hour main job cut you down to 29-hours-a-week part time using the ACA as their excuse and your $7.75-an-hour new job (congratulations, you’re still fifty cents above minimum) is keeping you at 29-hours-a-week part time. You’re working 58 hours a week, and it might not even still be enough to keep up with everything you’ve got to pay for. You’re tired, exhausted even, when you finally drag yourself home, and even with one day off a week you spend more time sleeping than you do with your kid. Maybe he grows up OK but maybe there are warning signs. Warning signs a parent who could pay more attention would have caught, warning signs of disease or mental illness, warning signs that insurance could have paid for if you could afford better insurance than the bare minimum. Hell, if you could afford congressional-quality health insurance, maybe things would be different.

        But they’re not, and so you’re stuck in two jobs, stuck with a kid for whom “dad” isn’t there when he says he will be not because he’s a liar, but because he can’t afford to take the day off. He requested it off, but his boss couldn’t let him go, because the kitchen is understaffed and the staff are overworked, and everyone’s pulling 29 hours a week except the boss, who gets a small break from corporate. And like hell corporate’s going to authorize hiring another worker.

        Should the supermarket bagger make the same as the coder? Probably not. But should they make enough to keep them out of poverty if they work 40 hours a week? I say hell yes. And with the current wages, I have news for you. He’s not.

      • John

        Well GL welcome to the real world. If you were following my post you would see that I worked two jobs while going to school so I understand what you’re saying. Hell I washed dishes, cleaned buildings, built decks all kinds of jobs. Up until I was 37 years old I was doing anything I could to get by. Even today with a good paying job I still have to work min 60 hrs a week to maintain my lifestyle. I haven’t had a raise or a contract in almost for years. And Two years ago they cut my educational incentive in half effectively giving me a 10% pay cut. Never Mind the fact that they don’t have tuition reimbursement. Then they increased my health care costs my co-pays went up and the government increased my taxes. So what I am left with is this I work 60hrs a week and take home the exact same money I took home 10 years ago. Except I have more going out than I did back then so I have to work more hours to try to save some money. No it’s not easy and it wasn’t easy back then but I never gave up and I still won’t . But economics 101 shows you that raising the minimum wage won’t fix the problem. Look I agree life is an expensive proposition but it you choose to double the wages for the guy at Mickey Ds you better be thinking about doubling my wages to. You see my job is very dangerous, as a result of my work I have had 7 surgeries over the past twenty years and have only partial feeling in my strong arm and hand. I don’t think that a guy slinging hash browns should be making 10 bucks an hour less than I do when the worst thing he might do is splash a little grease on his hand from a fryolator. Sorry but those are the facts of life. Now I see all this complaining about the evil corporations, funny thing is where do you think those jobs come from. And I will say this about your degree in glutted fields, I don’t work in the field my first degree is in for that reason. Just let me ask you this OK what do you do for a living? And have you ever been in the situation you describe? Oh and as for car loan or lease if you can’t pay your rent I think that you won’t be paying a car loan or lease.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        ” But economics 101 shows you that raising the minimum wage won’t fix the problem.” There’s no evidence that it won’t. That excuse has always been used and proven faulty. SO why is it Australia pays a minimum wage of $16.53?

      • John

        Why stop there why not $20.00 or $50.00 hell let’s raise it to $100.00. Look it’s simple companies pay stock holders like you and me from profits they make. You have no stocks you say, Ah but you do if you have a 401K or a deferred compensation plan or a company pension. All of these items invest in companies. So if you raise your costs IE raw materials, wages, benefits, investment these all cut into profits. Sure you can double the wages of the burger flippers but to maintain profits you will have to raise your prices. Of course again these jobs were never meant to be careers, they were meant as entry level jobs. I had a few back in the day. Hell even worked for Mickey Ds when the min wage was like $2.50 for about a New York Minute but I moved on. Funny thing when the min wage was $2.50 you could get a cheeseburger fries and a coke for under a buck. As a matter of fact it was part of the add campaign “change back from your dollar”. Most of these businesses are franchises, that means some poor schlep has put up his house and his life savings and is probably working 60-70 hours a week to make a living. Why should he suffer? I got an idea the burger flippers can do what I did when the job market sucked back under the second worst President we ever had. Join the military and get some career training. Oh wait that would be wrong I guess right?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Analysis said doubling Mickey’s employees wage would increase the price of a Big Mac by 68 cents. Sounds good to me. And they are no longer entry-level jobs because all the good jobs have been replaced by technology, shipped overseas, or eliminated because of a worldwide economic collapse. The average fast-food worker is 28. You have an alternative?

        I lived in a town where a “poor schlep” owned 5 McDonalds. She had more money than I will EVER have. And I doubt any MIckey’s owner is working 60-70 hrs a week. Get real, sonny. I’ve a friend who was a McDonald’s manager for twenty years, maxed out at $24K.

        When you are making obscene profits, you can afford to pay the people actually doing the work a little bit better. MCD makes $5.5 billion in profit.

      • John

        First off doubling wages would in turn cause you to have to double prices to maintain profits it’s basic fucking math. Secondly high paying jobs are still are out there in the medical, technology, education, specialty fields like plumbing and lots of other fields. Thirdly the women in your town who owns five Mcdonalds ( must be a big town ) I am sure that she put in a lot of work to build her little empire. If not work a lot of cash that she earned elsewhere that she put up. She took all the risk she should reap the rewards as she would reap the losses had she failed. As for your friend who worked for 20 years as a Mickey Ds manager, shame on him for not taking what he had learned and moving on. Nobody has ever gotten rich in the service industry or any other industry for that matter unless they went out there and pushed. As a manager with that kind of experience and training he could have moved up either in that company or gone over to a real restaurant. This whole redistribution of the wealth thing never works, If I sell a product and make a huge profit what makes you think you are entitled to a piece of my profit?? It’s the old I have two chickens my neighbor has none. I sell him eggs, he complains about the cost and how I am making money off him. So the government steps in and takes one of my chickens and gives it to him and taxes me on what I make. Now I have nobody to sell eggs to and the taxes is killing me so I eat the chicken. My neighbor knows shit about chickens so after a week or two the chicken dies. Now neither of us has a chicken or any eggs and we become dependant on the government to survive. You know what happens when you become dependant on the government for survival? They own you, tell you what to do and when to do it. What you can read and can’t read. You think that Mickey Ds is slave labor look at China, the old Soviet Union, North Korea. All shining examples of my chicken analogy. Did you know that if you take a picture of Korea from space at night that North Korea is in total darkness. There have been reports of the people resorting to cannibalism. Hell just look at the Irish Famine 1/3 of the population died from starvation and diseases, 1/3 migrated to America in coffin ships, many never making it across the bowl of tears. And the final 1/3 lived in abject poverty for years. And the whole thing was a creation of the British government and absentee landlords. Sorry for your friend but if he had gotten off his ass and used what he had learned he would have done better. True maybe he might not have made it but remember no risk no reward. In this country you are not guaranteed a good life you are guaranteed the opportunity to make a good life. In my job I work on average 50-60 hours a week to make ends meet. I risk my life every night I go to work. I have had seven operations from injuries I have received over the last twenty years. And I will tell you this if you increase wages for entry level jobs the ripple effect will be tremendous. Because the way I see it if flipping burgers is worth twice what they are paying then so am I. Of course what will happen is this. If I own a joint I will end up firing half the staff and going with automation. Maybe fire the prep guy and put condiments out so you can put your own stuff on your burger. Just saying. Do you have 5 Guys Burgers in your town? We do and they run the place with four people. If the one downtown was a Mickey Ds they would have ten people per shift. They have no prep people and no soda people. Two order takers and to cooks thats it and the place is busy as hell.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        “If I sell a product and make a huge profit what makes you think you are entitled to a piece of my profit??”

        If I make that product, you fucking moron, then I goddam well better get a piece of your profit, unless you plan on making it yourself. Rich people didn’t get that way singlehandedly. That is what you assholes forget.

      • queenofzeegeeks

        “You see my job is very dangerous, as a result of my work I have had 7 surgeries over the past twenty years and have only partial feeling in my strong arm and hand.”

        ^^ which is why better healthcare systems would benefit you immensely……

      • bjlight

        How does it feel to being a brainwashed “conservative” parrot who doesn’t live up to the legacy of the cum stain you could have been instead?


      • John

        Wow so I guess I win with you right away with the name calling. Do you know how much of an idiot you sound like ” FACTS WHAT THE FUCK DO THEY DO”. Ok I will tell you young Grasshopper. Facts prove a point and if you can spit out two kids and get $50K a year in perks. Plus all kinds of other goodies why would you bother to work. “CONFIRTION OF BIAS WHAT THE FUCK THE DOES IT DO”. Again young Grasshooper when you can grasp the peeble from my hand you will be ready yo leave. Facts cannot confirm or deny bias becasuse they are just facts. I would suggest you go back down to you moms basement and get back to Call Of Duty and let the real men get on with fixing this mess. As for cum stains I would guess the best of you ran down the crack of you mothers ass.

      • bjlight

        “Lol I win because you called me names.”

        Have you read the part where some ridiculously small amount of Massachusetts households actually receive the full scope of benefits? It’s a couple posts up. I mean really, it completely debunked your entire (already slanted) study, especially because you have yet to cite a single percentage or even something even vaguely resembling a concrete fact.

        Did you ever stop to think a person might resort to mocking you (which is what the WHAT DOES IT DO meme does) because you’re a walking Fox News stereotype who only hears whatever the nearest pundit is screaming into your ear.

        Also, I don’t live with my mom. Based on what I can glean from your profile though, I probably outsmart your son the Marine bulletcatcher. <3 Have a nice day! 🙂

      • John

        Funny I post facts and someone makes a statement and because my facts don’t jive with your opinion and the statement does my facts are wrong. And yes calling names is fun when you are 11 and I really doubt you outsmart my Marine “bulletcatcher” son. Go back to call of duty and by the way could you make me a large Ice with sweetener.

      • kim bunchalastnames

        ugh. i always shudder when idiots address me by my first name. #1: why on earth would you imagine that anyone would announce that on a public page? or that you would be entitled to know? and #2: i’ll be using obamacare.

      • Toomuchcoffeeguy

        Do you actually know anyone who works for a Starbucks? I happen to know of several kids working their way through college who rely on that insurance. Instead of basing an entire argument on a wild assumption, why don’t you do some simple research. Starbucks is a publicly traded company, so you can take a look at their annual report and see for yourself how much they are spending on employee benefits.

      • Rachael

        There is not a chance in hell that what you just said is true. Not a chance.

    • Michael Varian Daly


  • cappy

    yes me too..

  • anamericancynic

    I guess I am not going to complain about that $4 dollar latte anymore!

  • James Martin

    There are, undoubtedly, some companies that could survive quite well without reducing the number of full time employees. Without a doubt, some of those same companies are using ACA as an excuse to reduce hours and protect their profits. There are also some that cannot survive if they don’t reduce the number of full time employees. I know a restaurateur who has sixty employees total in his three restaurants. ACA will cost him $2,000 per employee. $2,000 x 60 = $120,000. Because he always tried to treat his employees decently he only makes $100,000 a year. His profit of $100,000 – $120,000(ACA cost) = negative $20,000. Why should this man be forced to go in the hole $20,000 a year. It is fine that you point out that some unscrupulous companies are unnecessarily reducing hours. It is fine that you point out that some companies are doing the honorable thing and not reducing hours. It is not fine that you suggest or insinuate that all who are reducing hours are doing so out of pure greed. Democrats that say there is no one will be adversely affected are as stupid as Republicans who say there is no benefit to Obamacare. Is ‘Forward Progressives’ just another term for ‘biased journalism’? If that is what you want your name to mean then you nailed it.

    • My understanding is that there are tax breaks, tax credits, gov help of sorts to lessen the impact over x amount of years. And no one says anything about the drop in annual health care increases that are already showing up. I wonder how much buried money he makes that no one knows about… Oh yeah, that’s right. He doesn’t do that 😉

      • James Martin

        Not everyone hides money off of the books and I don’t know if the man I know does it or not but your wondering tells us more about who you are than anyone else.

      • d-_-b

        James, you just dont get it. Peter here knows that EVERY business man is crooked; all the state fueled propaganda has told him so. all businessmen are crooked, all politicians are corrupt, all blacks are thieves, all jews are greedy, etc.

        just accept that Peter cant be bothered to look past the black and white of his statements and relying on stereotypes is the smarter way to judge without thinking.

      • Ankynan

        No, but I know several restaurant owners for whom I will not prepare taxes because I KNOW they don’t report all their income. That tells you that I know people who DO that, not that I personally think or behave that way.

    • sfwmson

      on the other hand, you neglect to mention the high retain rate for workers, which saves him money in less training etc., and healthier workers, not to mention HAPPIER workers who will do a better job and his business will increase. That 20K a year can easily be made up.

      • James Martin

        If he can find a way to make up 20k a year he still only make $0 profit.

      • It does sound like his business is already struggling if 20k/year is going to break him. This may just be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

        I feel sorry for him if things just aren’t working out, but being a small business owner, I know that failing to make good decisions and planning can lead to this. If he has three restaurants, he may need to consider closing the weaker performers and cutting fat, just like we Americans have to as our employers continually shrink our health insurance coverage and jack our rates.

      • d-_-b

        so exactly how does cutting business growth due to increasing forced extorti … i mean costs help the employees, the business owner, the community or the general welfare of the people involved?

      • What business growth? This guy was teetering on a negative cash flow beforehand. The house wasn’t sound to begin with.

      • d-_-b

        the second and third locations are the growth that he made and you are suggesting he has to cut. how does less locations equal more economy. will he make more money with less tables full of customers? will he be supporting more employees by firing a third of them?

      • Growth doesn’t equal profitability. If a location can’t reach individual profitability and instead eats into the overall margins, it needs to be closed. Have you never seen a chain open up somewhere, only to fail to generate sufficient business to stay open? This is pretty basic economics we’re talking, here, and you seem to lack even a rudimentary understanding.

        Seriously guy, do you have any idea of what you’re talking about? It’s like you’re trying to play business man without understanding basic finances and economics 🙂

      • d-_-b

        we can have a conversation without being insulting. i do run a small business and i have a descent understanding of it but that is not the point james is making nor is it inline with the subject of this article.

        this article is ripping on the business world as a whole by using mcdonalds, walmart and ups as the standard bearer for ALL companies. james made the point that his friend is not acting like these mega-corps and subsequently because he isn’t lining his pockets or abusing his employee base his margins are smaller. now you come along and tell him that because he cant absorb the cost of government regulation designed to reign in the mega-corps that he is a bad businessman. really, it is all on him? he deserves this? would you in principle then assert that a business that is shaken down by the local mob for ‘protection money’ each month is running a business poorly because they cant cover the cost of extortion? or do you believe government extortion should be built into the budgets now?

        maybe he is struggling in this economy and maybe he isnt making all the right decisions and maybe he is really taking it in the pocket book so his employees are treated better but regardless it is unfair to come along and place the blame on him solely because unilateral government policy is forcing his business underwater when he was just barely staying afloat.

        this is the problem with the one-size-fits-all approach of central-planning. you dont get to place all the onus on corporations for being greedy and then turn around and say this guys is part of the problem and deserves to lose his businesses and his employees deserve to loose their jobs all because a rich politician wants to make universal healthcare part of his legacy.

      • This guy won’t be losing his business because of the ACA, he’s going to lose it because of bad business decisions. 20k/year should not be a make-or-break moment for a three-location restaurant. It’s pointless to even use James’ friend in this discussion, because he’s talking about an already deeply troubled business.

        The ACA is not perfect, it’s got some problems with it. However, it is *something*, whereas we have been previously paralyzed into doing little to nothing to fix health care. In some regards, I think it’s good to see businesses feeling the heat along with individuals now. There may be more incentive than ever to try to come up with better “solutions” to our healthcare problem.

        But if not the ACA, what is the solution? I think basic healthcare is something that we as a leading first world country need to do a lot better job on. The absolute biggest worry for me in leaving my cush corporate job to start this business was how on Earth I’d afford a trip to the hospital if something were to happen.

      • d-_-b

        how can you make such blazen statements of ‘truth’ without all the facts? do you really know for sure that the ACA wont hurt him? there are hundreds of variables that could be at play here but you refuse to acknowledge that; everything comes down to ‘it is this guy’s fault’. what if the third restaurant is new and is picking up steam but still in the red right now and the force of this regulation defeats that restaurant and all the money sunk into it; is that still the owners fault or the force that hurt him? you dont even know if the business is troubled or not, you are just making an assumption to support your notion that the owner is the problem without any real tangible facts or numbers to back your claim. you have just as much chance of making 100% accurate assessments about me or anyone else on this thread with nothing other than some digital dust and some emotion.

        then you move onto tell us that maybe the heat is good since it will make the business world feel the same way the individuals do right now. shall i deconstruct this statement or do you want to rethink it? first, you started with praise for the ACA as something good, then when questioned you turn around and call it ‘heat’ in a negative light. so which is it? is it a great boon that all of us should be dancing with joy for or is it another tax, remember it is a tax, hiding as government regulation meant to reign in business and incentivise the healthcare industry. it is a stick hiding as a carrot but it is dangerous to think it is both. after you decide what it really is, and who is using it against who for what benefit, then you can make assessments about its use and effect. (remember, most of it was written by insurance companies and there were over 200 changes proposed by the red team; this was a joint effort by those in charge)

        you want incentive, here is incentive, tie government healthcare plans to the system and make them dependent on the same playing field as you and i and you will see a whole bunch of people suddenly fix the problem and guess what, it wont come from forcing restaurants out of business or making owners decide between keeping employees or solvency.

        now lets really talk about the core of the issue, health. we keep blaming the system for not doling out free healthcare but we seem to be severely lacking when it comes to fixing the problems with our overall health. is it just possible that one of the reasons our health care costs are out of control is because entitled, privileged americans want to be able to go to mcdonalds every day (supporting the mega-corp they are bashing) and then turn around and expect everyone else to cover the cost of their trip to the ER for a heart attack or diabetes related illness? perhaps our general push for cheap food has made companies like cargill or ADM deteriorate the quality of our food to maximize cost and profit but remove all the nutrients that we need to be healthy? i dont know about you but frankly i am tired of busting my but to stay out of the hospital while joe mcfucktard thinks eating deep fried butter is his patriotic right without needing to accept that his endless trips to the hospital are driving the costs so high that when i do have to go for a legitimate reason i cant afford it.

      • What a wall of text. The first 5/8 of your reply is just speculation and baiting, so I’ll skip to the last part.

        “… but we seem to be severely lacking when it comes to fixing the problems with our overall health”

        This is hand-waving to avoid addressing the issue.

        Fact: Our health care is the most expensive in the world
        Fact: Affordable private health insurance that won’t leave you hanging is FREAKING expensive. I was a healthy 26 year old male with zero pre-existings and I was shelling out $350/month.
        Fact: Affordable health insurance is only attainable through employers for the majority of us (that don’t work for the government or have other special benefits).
        Fact: Small businesses are at a huge disadvantage because health insurance is so tied to employment. It’s a huge risk leaving your job to start a company when the whole thing will come tumbling down if you or one of your family gets sick.
        Fact: The cost of getting common procedures done in the US is an order of magnitude more expensive here than elsewhere (without any discernible difference in quality of service for many of said procedures).
        Fact: If your employer doesn’t provide health insurance and you fall badly ill, it’s easier to quit your job, claim disability, and go bankrupt than to take on the debt and work your way out of the hole for years/decades.

        I suspect your opinion will change as you get older and start having health issues of your own, especially if your income or employment is tenuous at the time. It’s easy for those of us with steady employment and comfortable incomes to blame everyone else, but the system is BROKEN, rotten with corruption, and we can’t go blaming the unhealthy people like you are.

      • d-_-b

        Greg, i am not blaming the unhealthy people solely but i am placing the onus on us for our own health. i have learned a very valuable assessment technique to keep a topic principled and not emotionally rhetorical. replace the noun or subject of a statement and see if it still holds true; if it does then the statement is likely to be more principled. so lets do it; change the subject of healthcare to lets say car care. this is something most of us have to deal with and preventive maintenance on our part helps reduce cost and problems in the long run; very similar to healthcare although i grant you not as important. if you spend a smart amount of time making sure your vehicle is taken care of and your effort effects less trips to the mechanic then you have taken responsibility and reduced the burden on the mechanic industry. is it then fair to you to go to your mechanic and find out that the cost of his repairs has tripled because he is getting a lot of broken cars by people who dont maintain them? no, you should have to pay fair value for your services and not have the irresponsibility of others exploit your good behavior. yes this is very simple for what has become a convoluted system but come on man, this is the ant and grasshopper parable on real world terms. i dont mind helping out but i refuse to carry the whole load.

        i dont disagree with one thing you said, in fact what i wrote was in direct support of the problems with our broken system and our reliance on a dysfunctioning government to fix it instead of ourselves. i am not hand waving to ignore anything, i haven’t spent the last few hours talking with you on some whim, i genuinely mean what i am saying and i am being thoughtful in my words. i really do believe that our massively indebted government has no room to boast the ability to make something solvent or fix anything. show me you can change your tires before you start working on my engine so to speak.

        now, since you are fond of making assumptions let me clear something up; i am over 40 with a wife and child and i CANT afford to cover them and it brings dread to my heart every time i think about it so dont insult me and assume i am some idealistic child just looking for an argument. my fear for my family has forced me to go back to work to support my business and do you have any idea what the cost is for one month of healthcare for a family of three is; $950. i just dont have it, period and do you know what the ACA is doing for me? providing me with a balloon tax so i have even less to work with.

        i really do appreciate this back and forth or i wouldnt have taken the time; in return i would appreciate that you respond to my post not just the part you judge salient. if i asked a question i meant it; it isnt just filler. if you ignore it either you dont think it important or you dont respect me and if either is true then what is the point?

      • “Greg, i am not blaming the unhealthy people solely but i am placing the onus on us for our own health.”

        That only goes so far. I am in good shape, I work out religiously and eat pretty well. Ditto for my wife. However, I can’t decide to never get hit by a car, or get cancer. Genetic heart problems run in the family, I can’t opt out of those. Ditto for cancer. While asking for more responsibility for health is fine, it won’t even scratch the surface of the problem, nor make much progress in addressing the core issue: insurance companies are trying to maximize expense and liability, and won’t do certain things unless they are compelled to (like offer an un-lucky person with genetically caused pre-existing conditions).

        The ACA is a mixed bag that does address some of these issues. It has both helped and inconvenienced me, but one size will never fit all so I’m OK with that. It has probably helped my family as a whole more than it has hurt it. For example, one of my parents had a pre-existing that caused her to be rejected by basically everyone, but she’ll be able to get some kind of (super expensive) coverage next year when this part of the ACA kicks in. The federal and state-ran insurance exchanges are likely to help some at-risk people as they kick in over the next year, as well.

        While anything but perfect, my hope is that the ACA will be the kick in the pants that we need to make health care more of a political priority than it has been. It can be refined and improved, as there are some really good parts (like letting college students stay on their parents’ plans until 26, insurance exchanges, and mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions).

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        The solution is a single payor system like the rest of the intelligent, civilized world.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Why does business growth always have to be at the expense of those who actually do the work?

      • d-_-b

        where did anyone in this thread say that all the costs should be bore only by the employees? the point being made is that enough taxation for benefit of government largess and the company fails then there is no company, no jobs, no economy at all. would you prefer that we tax every business so heavily that they cant grow and ones like this fail?

        we have had walmart and ups thrown up as the face of business to the point that we are willing to strangle every business we see, including this guys friends mom and pop restaurant. are these mega-corps bad? for the most part yes. does every business therefore need to be treated as though they are walmart or ups? no. are you willing to step back and see that it is the large mega-corps paying big government for favors that is the real problem and laying out these grand all encompassing plans will hurt everybody but them?

        now, let me ask you this. why has the conversation about how do we fix our healthcare system turned into how do we punish the business community because walmart sucks?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Because the conversation was originally about businesses using Obamacare to screw their employees, not about fixing the health care system. We’ve provided examples of businesses that pay fair wages and supply health care benefits and aren’t going under. Wal-Mart is the poster child for greedy companies who don’t give a rat’s a$$ about their employees.

        And when was the last time a CEO got a pink slip with the rest of the rabble so the stock price would go up? Yes, business growth is often at the expense of the people actually doing the work.

        That taxation you hate buys you and your business things you use, like highways, infrastructure and a military. So pardon me if I don’t buy your argument about government extortion. If it weren’t for government, we’d all be working for $3/hr. Chris Rock said it best. “Minimum wage means, ‘I could pay you less, but it would be illegal.’ “

      • d-_-b

        well, i dont see where i said i hated taxes, as a matter of fact i didnt give any opinion in this post regarding tax other than its use. however since your bias is evident i take it your a fan of how your taxes are being spent currently? bailing out mega-corps is ok? you approve of 700b to wall street or better yet the 700b you paid to kill 1mil Iraqis? is this the system you are so fond of? is this the system you are telling me i should blindly give more money to for the roads that are in such great shape from the money i have already put in?

      • Bill

        That’s not even how business works. If you’re a business owner, you don’t just get to pocket whatever is left over, because every dollar has to be closely monitored. You have equity in your business, particularly if he’s got three restaurants and 60 employees. If, as you say, he “only makes $100,000 a year so he can keep treating his employees well,” then that means that’s the amount he’s decided to take out the business for himself. But also, if he’s limited his own pay to $100,000 for the sake of his employees, how is he not offering insurance already? What does he give them by keeping his own salary low that is preventing him from making more money?

      • Charlie Self

        Generally what a business owner takes in salary is not classed as profit, but as an expense against the corporation. Profit is another category, so he could be taking 100K a year and still making a profit, maybe less than the new costs, maybe more. You’d really need to know how he accounts for expenses and income to know what he might, or might not, lose.

    • Terry Knepper

      the baggers on the bus go “waaaaaah, waaaaah, waaaaah!!”….

      • d-_-b

        way to assume and label without even a tacit response of civility. does it make it easier to accept your stupidity by just pasting the labels the system gave you over the pictures on the screen? talk about a chimp doing tricks for bananas.

      • James Martin

        That’s the best you’ve got? Really? Screw the little guy right? You are as stupid as a bagger if you think that there will be no one who is negatively impacted. What would you suggest he do, reduce the number of full time employees or go out of business? He is not a huge corporation that can handle the costs. Is it really so hard for you to believe that there are small business owners who cannot afford the cost or do you just not care about them and their families?

    • louis

      your an idiot. plain and simple. you obviously havent read the ACA. if he has 60 employees and 3 restaurants and is only making 100k, he is a terrible business man. first of all the restaurant business is one of the worst businesses to own. 90% of them fail within the first year. it sounds to me like his business is struggling regardless of the ACA. With your logic, you think that because he is struggling he should pass that down to his employees who do not deserve to carry the burden of his poor business decisions. Guess what dude, some businesses fail. period, especially restaurants. your figures make zero sense. if he cant afford to pay his employees right, then tell him to strap on an apron and grab a tray. people like you make me sick. coming up with excuse after excuse to justify fucking over the people beneath you. his restaurant must suck because it doesn’t seem like people wish to eat there.I worked in the restaurant business for years.lets keep in mind that this guy already doesn’t pay his servers or bartenders. they make $2.83 an hour (minimum wage for a server/bartender). so what he has is the handful of bussers and cooks that he has to pay atleast 7.25 an hour. Ill bet my house that his business has been suffering for years. owning a restraunt, employee pay is super low due to the minimum wage laws regarding servers and bartenders. if he cant afford to pay hi employees right, then he shouldn’t have a business. period. I do not think that the burden should be passed down to his employees.hes just one more business owner trying to make slaves out of hard working Americans. 3 restaurants, and cant make over 100k in base pay for himself (ill bet he has wonderful insurance for himself and his dependents), the problem goes much deeper than having to provide benefits. Healthcare is a right for anyone and everyone especially if they work. not p[providing them is just cheap and inhumane. Like I said, why should his employees suffer that he has a failing business?

      • d-_-b

        you are the idiot dude and dont even deserve the time to respond. go look for all the handouts you can get buddy.

      • James Martin

        Why do you sneer at a littler guy? He is struggling the same as many Americans. Is it any less cheap and inhumane to require this man to lose more than his entire income. If he is forced to close the doors will the employees be better off? ACA will benefit some and has the potential to harm others.

      • Because health care is unfortunately so tied to employment, they may in fact be better off if their eventual new employers offer health insurance.

        Single payer needs to happen. Enough of this sillyness. I am getting absolutely reamed by private insurance for being self-employed.

      • Spy Report

        Yeah, people who own businesses should not reduce costs to maximize a profit. This ain’t welfare… it’s business. You are an ignorant liberal douchebag.

      • mandate

        Oh, Oh, Spy Report has evidently decided that anyone that does not agree with him is a douchebag….I wonder if he is a conservative. Any bets????

      • d-_-b

        any chance you could provide some useful positive input instead of just resorting to juvenile name calling like, oh i dont know, the guy YOU just accused of name-calling. fucking wingnuts; always ready to fight and never to work together.

      • mandate

        Any chance you could read my post??? I never called anyone a name unless you consider insinuating that the guy is a conservative is calling him a name. And by the way where is the ‘positive input’ in your post???? And I think ‘fucking wingnuts’ does qualify as name calling. Pot calling the kettle black much?????

      • As a small business owner, we gladly eat the cost of healthcare because our employees deserve it. They are our most important asset, bar none. We’d be foolish not to make sure they are taken care of and happy.

        Source: I am a “job creator” at a profitable company.

      • Suzie

        Greg: Spread the good word. This country needs more employers who think like you do! Great employees are your #1 asset, and you have the decency and common sense to know it! Kudos to you! May you continue as a “successful job creator”, and more importantly as a “great human being”!!!

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Bless you, my son. There are others who don’t think their employees deserve anything but contempt.

      • middle of the road

        louis he gave one example and you do not even know the man he is speaking of and you are personally attacking him, a page taken from the liberal playbook….I have been reading tons of comments on this healthcare deal, how about someone like me, I make too much money to get a subsidy, and I choose. thats right choose to NOT carry healthcare, but now am looking at being forced to buy it, or pay a huge penalty, how is this forward thinking….if I am forced to purchase this then I have to start to evaluate what I lose in my life, the American dream, homeownership? Keeping up with my utilities, putting food on the table, I understand there are people in need but to make someone like my self be forced to purchase it, you also force me into losing what I have. I am in the middle…..I say come up with a new plan….don’t penalize me….

      • Get with it

        By your choice, to not have health coverage can become a burden on the tax payer when you get sick or into an accident and can’t afford to pay! So, should we be like most conservatives and say, no coverage, no health care??? No! That would be inhumane! In a civilized world, we should be looking out for each other, helping one another instead of being selfish individuals! Planning and being prepared for the unexpected is being progressive! Living for today and thinking it’s not going to happen to you or it’s not your problem is just plain stupid!

    • Dean

      As someone in the industry, your figures are completely out of whack. If he truly has three restaurants that would mean that he only takes home $33,333 per restaurant. So if your figures are true, which they are not, he is a horrible restauranteur. Also don’t forget that the ACA will net him a major tax refund. But as far as a restauranteur only bringing home $100k with three successful restaurants that is completely unbelievable.

      • James Martin

        Unbelievable? Maybe. Untrue? No. Just not greedy.

      • I think Dean means “Unbelievably bad”. It sounds like his business was in a lot of trouble before the ACA, if your numbers are true. That has nothing to do with greed, and everything to do with operating a failing business.

        There’s no shame in failing, though. None of this has to be accusatory, businesses fail much more often than they succeed.

      • d-_-b

        so he is barely making ends meet to provide a service and support his life and you think the best thing for him is be forced to payout enough regulation money that everything falls apart? you believe the hurdle for running a business should be made higher so less can succeed? that is your big plan for economic prosperity?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Isn’t that what you capitalist tools call “the invisible hand of the market?” You want to blame the apparent fact that he is a lousy businessman on government regulation? ACA may be the final nail in his coffin but he hammered in the rest of them.

      • d-_-b

        if you intend to just be insulting and come into this discussion with a chip on your shoulder and spend your time mislabeling others and name-calling then let us know so we can ignore your posts.

        to help you get past your preconceived notions i come from a progressive point of view and rely on evidence and reason to make a decision. i dont just make assumptions and label; some one who jumped in and did that would be an asshole.

        you have zero evidence that this guy is a poor business man and you have no idea where he is at with his business yet you feel completely justified in assuming he is a bad businessman. becasue walmart is bad all businesses are bad right? you want him to be so business savvy and successful that he can take all the taxation big government can extort and then when he fails it is his fault because he couldn’t keep up with regulation costs and taxation. now on the other hand if he was running his business in a way that he had the excess profit so he could absorb this taxation and still succeed you would say he is just another greedy business man. you cant have it both ways.

        if your approach is to view this from a big government is always ok point of view then you are never going to see the other side and if you fail to be able to do that, even for a minute and see the other sides then you cannot make a well reasoned argument.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Progressives don’t demonize taxes and call them “extortion” the way you do. You sound more like a libertarian. You have zero evidence he’s NOT a bad businessman.

        I have a problem with people who praise the virtues of the “free market” until the results of the “free market” are adverse, so they blame government.

      • d-_-b

        no, liberals dont demonize taxes and call them extortion; progressives are at least willing to look at the whole system and see if perhaps the government can be blamed for some of our problems as well. they are looking to move past the bullshit, not support one side or the other of the fiasco.

        you seem to be laboring under the delusion that what we have now is a free market; as long as your taxes are being used to subsidize the likes of exxon, carghill, adm, chase, etc. then you are not living in a free market. as long as there are corporations and government entities in cahoots and those corporations are buying your control from your government, then what we have is a corporatocracy and bordering close to a fascist state. dont take these extremes that are apparent, and are what pisses both you and i off, and make it this mom and pops fault because they cant afford more ‘freedom’.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        You still haven’t proven the guy just isn’t a bad businessman. Government or no, the restaurant biz is dicey. My favorite coffee chain got sold to another company and all but 8 stores in Illinois have closed. Government ain’t responsible for that.

        Progressives don’t like government of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation, but the ones I know don’t think taxation is evil and don’t think “mom and pop” should be punished. I’m not sure where you got that idea.

      • d-_-b

        are you even paying attention to what you have said?

        first, YOU made the assertion he is a bad business owner, ‘he hammered in the rest of them’, so it is on you to defend your statement. dont tell me santa exists without proof and then say the onus is on me to prove he doesnt. you are jumping right on the business is bad bandwagon and grouping everyone under the walmart umbrella. then when this guy shows where the ACA will hurt a small business you jump right in to defend big government without even a shred of evidence; you just parrot the talking points like a good patriot without thinking about what is coming out of your mouth. even the architects of the ACA have said it is not perfect but for the purpose of this conversation it the holy grail to you and any conversation tot he contrary doesnt fit your narrow view you were told to have.

        second, i didnt say progressives think taxation is evil nor did i say they think mom and pops should be punished. where the hell did you get that? i said they are willing to look at the whole picture and see how it can be moved forward. you know, progressively.

        i dont mind having a conversation but you have to keep your notions at least rooting in fact, evidence and truth regarding reality and what your opponent really said.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Are YOU paying attention? Here’s your quote and I’m still trying to figure out your point:

        ” as long as there are corporations and government entities in cahoots and those corporations are buying your control from your government, then what we have is a corporatocracy and bordering close to a fascist
        state. dont take these extremes that are apparent, and are what pisses both you and i off, and make it this mom and pops fault because they cant afford more ‘freedom’. ”

        What ARE you talking about? If you look at the beginning of this thread, James Martin, Dean AND Greg Taylor have serious doubts about this guy’s business savvy. You are the one who said:

        “so he is barely making ends meet to provide a service and support his life and you think the best thing for him is be forced to payout enough
        regulation money that everything falls apart? you believe the hurdle for running a business should be made higher so less can succeed? ”

        What “regulation money?” Why is his business falling apart when there are others whose businesses aren’t going to be affected by ACA?

      • d-_-b

        so you know James’ friend do you Dean? you are privy to all the information are you? got it all figured out?

        what leader of the service industry do you work for since you wanted to boast about credentials you didnt actually provide?

    • Dave

      The $100k you refer to isn’t profit if that’s what he’s paying himself. Profit is what is left when all other expenses (including his income) are paid for.

    • Phenoy

      And if he pays $120k in healthcare costs/year for his employees, how much of that can he deduct from his taxes?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        All of it.

  • d-_-b

    a little black and white here; there is ample evidence that the ACA will cause some smaller businesses to stop functioning effectively, if even being able to survive, more forced regulation. some companies just dont have the money and with the economy as it is the impact will be felt even harder. the major companies listed here are not of that group and i do not agree that they should punish their workers for their inability to furnish a fair wage regardless of the stresses placed on them however i think it a bit unfair to group every single business under the rubric of these asshats.

    • buttercatz99

      No facts. Just opinions. The law makes accomodations for companies with < 50 employees. Soo… there you are making stuff up again.

      • d-_-b

        so every company with over 50 employees is evil?

        and what is this again shit, have you and i spoke before? is this some long lasting dialogue you and i have had that you feel the need to reply to emotionally?

        so lets discuss this ‘making stuff up’ baseless accusation; since you are asserting that my notions are erroneous then i can only assume you believe that every single company with over 50 employees will not see one single effect of the ACA correct? you feel that every single company is identical to those listed above?

      • TracyG

        “No facts. Just opinions. The law makes accomodations for companies with < 50 employees. Soo… there you are making stuff up again." I see no suggestion of "evil" here. You make an awful lot of assumptions…

      • d-_-b

        so you answered the first portion of my post, care to show a modicum of respect to go on and respond to it in its entirety?

        the question of corporation being evil or bad is in the article itself, it is the crux of the article. buttercatz99 here is saying that it is in fact a black and white subject when i asserted that it is not.

        dont just reply to a post, read the whole thread before you just jump in and insult someone.

      • James Martin?

        I love how people are specialists in what Obamacare has, can, and will do. Do you know for sure that businesses have gone under because they had to take care of their employees? No you don’t. Because it hasn’t happened yet. Only parts of Obamacare have been implemented and no small businesses have gone under. People keep saying they will… and that they can’t afford to pay their employees healthcare. This is all crap. It’s all political and thats all it is. Just like how chick-fil-f*ck and others can go on about gay marrage. There is an obvious shift in understanding past a certain pay grade to what blue collar’d workers need to survive. Mcdonald’s coming out with that budget is obvious proof. And this is the same stupid arrogant state of mind people are saying that mcdonalds can’t increase their pay or provide healthcare when their profits have increased significantly since the min wage was set YEARS ago.
        James Martin I find it funny that its your friend that magically owns this company that can’t take care of its workers. How convenient for the sake of this forum. Stop wasting our time and lets get an actual business man on here that feels his business will be hurt.

      • d-_-b

        can you show me the proof of your statements about no businesses being hurt?

  • sfwmson

    so that’s good, but then again, you can open carry a gun into a starbucks. what is this guy trying to do? Is he doing these things just to keep in the news? Is he actively playing sides of every issue so that customers will keep coming in? I am very skeptical about his motives.

    • d-_-b

      so no matter what he does he is suspect because he is a business man? any chance you have heard the word stereotype?

      perhaps it is time you put the glass of kool-aid down and accept that your entire life is brought to you by businesses and every time you spend a dollar someone is doing something for you so you dont have to. dont like businesses? stop purchasing products and then you can set around and judge a system you demand be there for you when you wont be there for them.

  • TracyG

    Yet Jimmy Johns just built a new store near my work….odd…if a company is expecting ruin why would they build more?

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Kinda like the guy who runs Papa Johns, who a couple of years ago teamed up with Peyton Manning to give away 2 million pizzas, then bitched about the ACA forcing him to hike pizza prices by 14 cents.

  • Spy Report

    Yeah, they found a way… by charging 5 bucks for a cup of coffee. McDonalds charges a dollar and many people love McDonalds coffee. If McDonalds bumps up their prices to Starbucks level…. McDonalds will easily be able to pay benefits etc as well or better than Starbucks.

    • AnnoyedMiddleClass

      McDonald’s coffee is crap. Starbucks isn’t great but at least it’s not terrible. A cup of coffee is is less then 2 bucks at Starbucks. An espresso drink costs significantly more, at least try to compare apples to apples. Also McDonald’s has significantly more volume then Starbucks. Americans care the most about cash costs and the least about people. Maybe it’s time we start trying to have a better collectively better country and stop being greedy bastards.

    • Chester Marx

      I drink a lot of different coffees, but not the clowns. Tastes like it costs, and at my age they tend to give it away for free.

    • Brad Cook

      A large cup of coffee at Starbucks is typically $2.00-$2.50, not 5 bucks – that’s a mocha or a latte or one of those drinks, which means it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Yes, it’s still more, but it’s better quality.

  • Mike Williams

    To Starbucks:

    I have previously been on a boycott of your establishment due to the the attitude that I am given every time I would order a “Large” cup of plain coffee. I have decided that if your going to treat your employees with respect, dignity, and not punish your workers for being employed by you, then I can certainly up my game and drink a Mocha Frap in a “Large” cup.
    I’m paying for it I’ll call it what I want.

    Congrats, your off my ban list, for now.

    To other Corporations still on my list.
    Stop. Your full of crap and you know it.

  • KC86

    I think its sad that the discussion of the ACA has come to this. If you asked any democrat/moderate about this without being rude or an a**, they will tell you that it is not a perfect system. At all. But, it is a change to a system that would not go on much longer. Republicans have done nothing but complain and try to defund, they haven’t come up with a single alternative, just criticism and negativity. The ACA is not perfect, by far. There are many things that need tweeked and changed, but its exhausting how embattled Republicans and Democrats are on this issue. Would be amazing to see what would happen if both parties actually communicated and worked together.

    • d-_-b

      maybe we could get past the archaic need for asking politicians if it is ok for us to live our lives. i mean, we ask politicians of all people to judge ethics and morality for us and then we give them the guns to allow them to force us into their notions.

      • KC86

        So you’re saying what? An “every man for himself” attitude?

      • d-_-b

        no, i am saying that there is going to be a time when we learn to get along as a unified people and the need for control will be a distant ideology like slavery or blood-letting.

        at the very least i think it is time people really take a look at where the system has gotten us and at what cost before we run and give them more power and money. if the government was a corporation they would have gone under 100 years ago because it doesnt work and the current sad state of affairs is proof.

        we will evolve and change; it is inevitable. your choice is to decide if you have the courage to be part of it or if you need someone like Romney or Boehner or Reid forcing you to dance to their drums.

      • KC86

        Hopefully happens in time that we aren’t totally f***ed

      • OK, you’ve sold me, lets be unified. When does my Universal Healthcare start?

        I find it sad that the vast majority of stress that I encounter is related to keeping me and my family healthy and insured without going bankrupt.

      • d-_-b

        wow, i suggest that there is a better way and you jump right to the ‘what i deserve for breathing’ mentality.

        maybe you could step back and ask yourself if humanity’s first priority should be to feed the starving and stop the state sponsored violence or make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable.

      • You make health care seem like such an optional luxury. It isn’t. Most don’t care until they have to go to the hospital and end up bankrupt.

        You also assume that I am for “state sponsored violence”, which I am not. I’d rather have universal health care or single payer instead of our massively over-inflated military.

  • Judy Hedin

    Greedy, greedy, greedy capitalist overlords. God forbid their upper management goes without health care, but not the folks actually doing the work to earn them the money. And if their soulmates in the military industrial complex weren’t sucking up so many of our tax dollars to fund wars and armament sales to other countries, we actually might have some money left over to provide free health care to our citizens instead (like Canada, the UK, Sweden, France, etc provide free to their own citizens). What’s the solution? It’s to late for revolt – vote with your feet instead…

  • Chester Marx

    The UPS debacle over insurance is ill timed and simplified to denigrate the ACA. If you read the news articles, the company is discontinuing insurance for spouses that are working, and qualify for coverage at their job. This has been standard practice in most firms for a while. The articles should emphasize the dishonesty of UPS management, demonizing ACA to cover their slowness in instituting an accepted standard.

  • DaleC

    I wonder what percentage of Starbucks employees work less than 30 hours and aren’t covered by Obamacare anyway?

    Sounds like good marketing to me…”Hey, look how wonderful we are for bragging about not doing something that the law does not affect anyway”.

    BTW, I love me some Starbucks.

    • inasecond

      Just for the record Starbucks has always provided the option of insurance to any worker that works 20 hrs a week or more. Shultz was just saying that he wont be changing this because of the excuse of Obama care.

      • DaleC

        Like I said, it won’t affect Starbucks very much. My question was how many of Starbucks employees work over 30 hours and fall under Obamacare? Do you have any info on that? I am bettting there are very few, therefore, his company won’t be forced to change, as others have been.

        Also, maybe I am reading to closely, but Starbucks says they won’t cut benefits “ahead” of Obamacare. The cynic in me says, pay close attention to 2015.

  • John

    Not to worry we can all work for minimum wage at starbucks. Other major companies have in place policies that say if your spouse can get insurance at their job they must get off your family plan. So this is what you get. Daddy works for company X Mommy for company Z Daddy carries the insurance but Mommy can get insurance through her work. Daddy’s company says Mommy has to get off Daddy’s policy and get her own through work. But Daddy needs to keep the family policy to insure the kids. So they end up getting two separate plans at increased cost to the family. Oh and if you company is like mine, if you get your health care elsewhere you get a $2500.00 bonus every year so you can kiss that goodbye also. And you would be very surprised at the number of companies now doing this and some are very very large. I am willing to bet that a $4.00 a cup and $5.00 for a scon Mr. Schultz can afford to keep providing health insurance for the handful of executive in his company that he now does. If you really believe he is covering the collage girl working the counter you are nuts.

  • Cat

    Too bad my health insurance health insurance went up for the 3rd year in a row at Starbucks. This year the reasoning was ACA. Starbucks isn’t putting the extra cost out to its customers, they are putting it on their partners.

  • Jencg

    I’ve always wondered why companies that pay poverty level wages and yet make huge profits aren’t taxed to the hilt in order for the government assistance needed by their employees to be paid for. Same for the companies that send work overseas. Two choices: pay and care for your employees or pay the government to care for them.

  • Sick and tired

    And on top of this bs these companies get tax breaks for hiring people on public assistance than they don’t pay them enough to get off assistance.! It’s ludicrous

  • Daniel Lambert

    Excuse…that’s the word I’ve been looking for. Funny how most of these companies, especially insurance companies, avoid this word but use its meaning to make enormous profits all the while. In all actuality, companies who have carried insurance for their employees will get a break from this high cost of health insurance that’s gotten out of control during the last 12 years and have been threatening to jump into hyper charge because of Obamacare for the last two. They’ve been turning lemonade back into lemons and jacking up the price in citrus while screaming juice shortage on this one.

    CEO Howard Schultz, I would like to make you a cup of coffee.

  • Hilary Evans

    Dang it…I was gonna try to join the conversation, but this site isn’t mobile friendly and won’t let me respond to anyone’s comments. So, I’ll just say this….As far as I’m concerned, any company that says they’ll go broke if they have to provide health insurance, which a company should do for their employees anyways, shouldn’t be in business anyways. Companies only make money because of the people who work for them . Over the years, they probably have work-related stress, if they’re on their feet all day, chronic pain can eventually develop..:all sorts of work-related health issues. It’s not right to make money off of people and not provide health care after their job starts to take a tol on them…

  • rosiewin

    I’m reloading my starbucks card immediately!!

  • Penny

    It’s like I told my “now deceased” husband, these
    companies don’t realize their employees can make them or break them. When the company treats them good they’ll treat the company well. When they screw over their employees they have their ways of seeing to it that it cost the company without the company being able to figure out where the extra expense is coming from.

  • Shelly Davis-Cureton


  • chalsado

    chThere are School Districts that are no longer providing Health Insurance for the support staff who work less than 30 hours a week, because of the wording of the Affordable Health Care act. Employees that have worked for many years with Insurance, now suddenly find themselves without. Shame on the School Districts for using it as an excuse to NOT provide their part timers with Health Insurance.

  • ryan

    Yeah, continue… Business as usual, meaning, will not provide benefits or full time to its many employees… And great pay? LOLOLOL Ok. PS, Thanks for donating 5 cents for every 3 dollar bottle of Ethos Water I bought to help bring water to people that don’t have it, Starbucks! You are lucky I like your atmosphere and Coffee, cause I sure don’t like your slimy business ethics… Of course that’s what I get for not reading the fine print. Who does that? Ugh.

  • Dobes.rule

    So why aren’t companies forced to pay benefits based on the number of hours an employee works. 40 hours = full benefits. 20 hours = 50% benefits. Bet this would stop.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    There is a simple solution. Employers get out of the insurance biz and we have universal coverage.

  • Don’t be confused, they have a reason and that reason is both political and financial. Remember these are corporations and they HATE liberals and they HATE Obama and they HATE having to pay people that should only exist to be their slaves. Pay them a living wage? Keep them healthy? Like hell they will!


    The companies that use the ACA to cut
    their employees hours & benefits prove
    their GREED surpasses their LOGIC!
    If you take care of your workers, you
    enable them to grow the economy.
    A WalMart worker may stop at Starbucks
    on the way to work, use UPS instead of USPS,
    & eat @ McDonald’s for lunch! If only they
    were paid a LIVING WAGE, ALL the Country
    would be better for it! It’s really just

  • Renee

    Oh, come on, Jimmy Johns? If they can afford a NASCAR sponsorship, then they can afford this without screwing over their employees.

  • Stephanie Albright

    TOTAL CRAP!!! My sister has worked for Starbucks for eight years. What they are doing is cutting hours back on the associates so that they don’t maintain enough hrs per fiscal quarter to keep their existing benefits. Once they fall under the minimum, they keep you there. They did this right after she came back after having her baby and asked for time to pump breast milk UNPAID while working. Her manager even doctored her hours. CAN YOU BELIEVE A COMPANY THIS BIG DOESN’T USE TIMECARDS OR THEIR REGISTERS TO CLOCK IN AND OUT SO THERE’S A RECORD OF WORKED HOURS??? They don’t. It’s entered into a book by your manager and you don’t have to sign it and you don’t get a copy.
    They can claim what they want for the press. My sister reported to corporate and they don’t give a sh**.

  • DaleC

    I love how people will dismiss out-of-hand some information solely becasue it came from a biased organization like Cato, but will swallow whole the information about ACA from the White House.

  • Guest

    Maybe I’m wrong, do companies have to supply health care for “part-time” employees? For spouses of part-time employees?? How many “full-time” employees are working at Starbucks??? It’s odd the number of big U.S. corporations currently laying-off employees simultaneously lobbying Washington for an immigration bill so they can hire “cheap foreign labor”. I wonder how many “part time” foreign laborers will get these jobs once they sneak S.744 through the cracks… & will they have health care supplied by the corporation?

  • simpleparrish

    Maybe I’m wrong, do companies have to supply health care for “part-time” employees? For spouses of part-time employees?? How many “full-time” employees are working at Starbucks??? It’s odd the number of big U.S. corporations currently laying-off employees simultaneously lobbying Washington for an immigration bill so they can hire “cheap foreign labor”. Am curious how many “part time” foreign laborers will get these jobs once they sneak S.744 through the cracks… & will they have health care supplied by the corporation?

  • JustMe

    Because minimum wage laws won’t let them?

  • John Moody

    You can add Applebees to the list..the cut almost every position to 30 hrs or less..In my restaurant there was 8 full time positions available..everything else is part time..I was told this was so they wouldnt have to offer healthcare…Applebees is the largest casual restaurant chain in the country…when I was told this I wanted to throw up…