By Jason Brendler
As President Barack Obama’s health care program, known as Obamacare, approaches its implementation, businesses across the nation are forecasting different changes they may experience.
When the bill was passed, major pizza franchise Papa John’s declared it would raise the price of its pizza by one cent per slice. Although this is not such a significant price change, the logic behind such a publicity stunt is noteworthy to say the least.
The bill, also known as The Affordable Care Act, was passed to provide affordable health care insurance for all U.S. citizens. It requires that all insurance plans cover preventive services and stops insurance companies from dropping people when they are sick.
However, with many companies now being required to provide health insurance to their employees, some businesses on Route 1 are anticipating different outcomes.
Voula Galanakos, the manager of Marathon Deli, which is a local authentic Greek restaurant, said that even though Obamacare hasn’t been fully implemented yet, it is already starting to have negative effects on her business.
“We used to have a straight $2,500 deductible, but now that same deductible will only cover 80 percent for each person in the plan,” said Galanakos. “Employees also won’t get as big of raises because we have to pay for their health insurance, which is hard because we are just a small business.”
Another local business owner, Bissrat Tewodros, just opened the One Stop Shop right off of Route 1 and described his unhappiness regarding Obamacare.
“Everyone should have health care, but forcing it upon businesses is unfair,” said Tewodros. “If you are a business owner it puts pressure on you because it’s harder to get employees when we’ll have to offer lower wages.”
Even businesses that aren’t necessarily against healthcare ultimately understand that its implementation will take a toll on their company. Tiffany Toye of Jason’s Deli said that while she isn’t forecasting too much of an impact, she is still wary that there may be some negative side effects.
“I don’t see any effects so far, but it will probably hurt our business before it helps us,” said Toye.
Although many businesses have not yet seen or felt the effects of The Affordable Care Act, the fact that employees will receive lower wages while their businesses will have to distribute health care is a common fear.
Businesses such as Marathon Deli and One Stop Shop are just some of the first businesses to feel the effects of the coming law. And as the law approaches full implementation, more uncertainty is expected.