RESTAURANTS: All eyes are on Obamacare

The Times Board of Economists - Update from John Barney, president Barney Enterprises
2013-07-21T00:00:00Z RESTAURANTS: All eyes are on ObamacareBy Keith Benman, (219) 933-3326

Restaurant owners still worry about beef prices and the weather, but Obamacare remains No. 1 on the list of unknowns facing the industry.

The one-year delay in the Obamacare mandate that all employers with more than 50 employees provide health insurance has not allayed concern over the law, according to John Barney, president of Barney Enterprises, which operates several Wendy's restaurants in the region.

Restaurant owners feel the mandate to provide health insurance for all employees working more than 30 hours may hurt the people the health care law was designed to help. That's because those employers unable to provide insurance or pay the penalty may end up cutting work hours for a large part of their workforce.

"If you cut someone's hours from 40 to 30, how does that help the person who needs it most?" Barney said. "And I understand they need insurance and I'm not suggesting I shouldn't help provide that insurance."

Barney said the recent one-year delay announced by the Obama administration shows it is not just his industry that is concerned about the health-care mandates in the law.

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