Obamacare: Now Appearing On Your Restaurant Bill

Tyler Durden's picture

That the bulk of Americans (especially those 4+ million whose insurance policies have recently been cancelled as a result of the ACA) have to pay more for healthcare as a result of Obamacare, is now largely accepted and well-known. But did you know that the cost of Obamacare is slowly metastasizing to other places? Such as your restaurant bill.

Presenting Exhibit A.

From CNN:

Several restaurants in a Florida chain are asking customers to help foot the bill for Obamacare. Diners at eight Gator's Dockside casual eateries are finding a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, which comes to 15 cents on a typical $15 lunch tab. Signs on the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.


The Gator Group's full-time hourly employees won't actually receive health insurance until December. But the company said it implemented the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it's facing ahead of the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate kicking in in 2015.


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


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


"I'm just trying to keep the employees I have that I've worked hard to train," Clark said. 


In addition to the costs of providing health care, the company hired one additional staffer and a consulting firm to make sure it is complying with the law and to assist in the additional tracking of workers' hours and wages required by Obamacare, said Clark.


Clark is not sure how much the company is spending on compliance, but estimates that it will cost $500,000 a year to extend insurance to its full-time hourly restaurant workers. The surcharge may bring in about $160,000 a year, she hopes.

So more surcharges coming then.

The bottom line decision for businesses: fire your workers, or pass through the costs to other consumers. Many have done the fomer, or converted full-time workers to part-time status. Increasingly more are opting for the latter. How long until the popular outcry that this latest "freebie" by the government was anything but.

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Quinvarius's picture

Look at what that dude is eating.  His ACA charge should be higher. 

Divided States of America's picture

Another loser out of all this is the waiter/waitress.....I am sure they will get less tips because of that extra surcharge.

gmrpeabody's picture

It'll come out of the tips, you can be sure...,

especially the tips left by the left, if you follow my meaning.

onewayticket2's picture

Good.  the entire cost structure should be itemized....maybe the sheeple would wake up

dryam's picture

Means you eat at another restaurant or stay in to eat.  Unfortunately, this results in restaurants not doing well and worker layoffs. 

Only when people hit bottom can they wake up and vote/protest/uprise to make the corrective changes.  Unfortunately, this requires short term pain for long term gain.  It's not unlike an alcoholic that has to hit absolute bottom before he can wise up and stop drinking.

Bring on the pain so we can get this shit over with.

Four chan's picture

should be labled obama charge

lordylord's picture

Should be labled ignorant voter charge.

outamyeffinway's picture

"Ok, time now for sayonara. Go on Yankee break my heart."

Pladizow's picture

That's the Obummer fuck you in the ass with no vasaline surcharge!

johnQpublic's picture

the charge is 3 dollars at NTB where i got the wifes oil changed


too damn cold outside to do it myself

SmackDaddy's picture

People are so fucking dumb.  I remember a year or two back Ohio changed our sales tax laws to now include certain types of personal services.  I saw one business owner who put up a sign to notify customers of a 10% price increase to cover the tax (which was 7%).  The sign specifically blamed Obama,  But it was a Republican governor here.  I'm not an Obama fan, but to transfer the cost of the tax and then some to your customers makes you an asshole.  And your explanation for it makes you retarded.

Manthong's picture

Camel’s nose under tent for a national sales tax?

Way to go, Barry... all you got left for GDP are service industries and you are killing that, too.

0b1knob's picture

Charged twice for iced tea?  No free refills?  Over $5 for a chili dog?

This restaurant sucks on so many levels.

johnQpublic's picture

obviously two people ate on this tab

a sandwich, a dog and 2 teas

2 people

Handful of Dust's picture

Airlines will be next to charge an "ACA Surcharge." They charge for everything else!

SafelyGraze's picture

by this executive order I am putting an end to the unpatriotic practice adopted by certain eating establishments; namely, itemizing a so-called "ACA" fee on their bills.

anyone who engages in commerce and who in any way indicates that they are charging based on real or imagined mandates can be assured that they will face fines of up to 10,000 per infraction and jail time of up to 10 years per infraction.

now let's all get back to work, and let's do so with the positive and grateful attitude that made this country great.


ps - you might qualify for a loan to go back to school! 

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Nothing is wake up befuddle masses like when is hit pocket book.

Panem et Circus's picture

I love it when people say something to the effect of "They haven't felt enough pain to wake up yet."


DETROIT is still ASLEEP!!!

zaphod's picture

Imagine if they line itemed everything else that hits a small business. The receipt would be 10 feet long.

ejmoosa's picture

Just imagine if they did it at the gas pump to show you how much for for the gas and how many other embedded taxes were there.

When you buy a gallon of gas, the government nets more than the oil company.  

chumbawamba's picture

Well, when you buy that gallon of gas, at least you can say you've paid your fair share for the maintenance of the highways, because you have.  None of your state or federal taxes goes to any of that.

As far as sales tax, it's a privilege tax on the vendor or retailer, and they aren't supposed to be passing it on to you, the customer.  The privilege to sell retail is the taxabale event, not the sale of your goods.



I am Chumbawamba.

StandardDeviant's picture

A number of gas stations in Canada used to do just that, putting signs on the pumps explaining that about half of what you were paying went to various levels of gov't, in what I assume was an attempt to redirect customers' anger at price hikes.

TheMeatTrapper's picture

Yeah, but they said it would be FREE.

0b1knob's picture

It says "party of 1" on the check.

johnQpublic's picture

read the goddamn bill

its obviously for two people

now, google the menu...easily done

mon-fri its .99 for the damn bottomless ice tea from 11am-4pm

it says bottomless on the menu, but does vary by location

and everything is huge there, just like at every chain

no one is eating two meals there

and they'd prolly opt for dessert instead

buncha children here today

did everyone go batshit stupid since yesterday?

Skateboarder's picture

You gotta be retarded to look at that receipt and not understand it is a meal for two people. $2.50 for Iced Tea at 'regular' price is stupid expensive, but on the same page as everywhere else. Doesn't a soda cost you two bucks these days anyway? ( I wouldn't know - I don't buy fountain soda ).

Alls I know is that 5 bucks (including $1 tip) for a pint of beer is the most I'll pay without being pissed off.

John_Coltrane's picture

Drinking beer always makes me pissed off.  Ha Ha

IrritableBowels's picture

He should've used the force.

or logic...

Things that go bump's picture

I can't believe people actually pay over $20 for a sandwich, a dog and 2 teas without even chips or fries. I can feed 4 people 2 meals for that. The Obamacare surcharge is a pittance. I feed 4 people for around $500 a month. We eat well and have a good homemade dinner every night. We have steak or roast once a week. I'm a good cook. I make my own bread for around 50 cents a loaf. I make my own noodles, which are far superior to store bought. I make homemade pizza and spaghetti sauce from scratch. I buy flour and sugar by the 25 lb sack and yeast by the pound and freeze it (its quite expensive in those little packets). I buy all my meat in bulk and cook enough to freeze for another meal or have hot lunches the next day. I made us all copycat Chipotle burritos for about $10 total the other night and had enough left over for lunches the next day. They were quite authentic though I'm afraid we failed the rolling up process and had to eat them with forks, but it was fun and we laughed. Monday I made a pan of lasagna for around $15 and had enough to freeze for another meal. Homemade is cheaper, better tasting and I know exactly what goes into it - no preservatives and no chemicals that aren't food. I understand some restaurants don't even cook their own meals, but have them shipped to them frozen. Yuck. I buy 3 boxes of saltines, 3 boxes of graham crackers and popcoran for those inclined to snack. 

lostintheflood's picture

things that go bump...everything that you say is true, has always been true, and will always be true...if you want it done right, you should do it yourself, and that includes preparing food....most especially it includes food.

we stopped eating out this past year.  we've saved a ton of money, and we eat better, but most importantly, we know what we are eating.

in the grocery stores i see 2 kinds of raw chicken.  one is locally produced and one is shipped from arkansas.  we live in the puget sound.  the local chicken costs more, but i wouldn't buy or eat the chicken shipped from arkansas.  i don't want that factory food.  but i guarantee you that if we ate out, the restaurant would serve the cheaper, factory chicken...and how would we know the difference?

in fact, i don't trust any factory or pre-prepared food.

Things that go bump's picture

I do spend the extra to buy the organic chicken. I don't like the look of those monsterous, unnatural factory chickens. 

johnQpublic's picture

i want to throttle you

google the menu for gods sake

everythng is a platter and comes with fries

i have eaten there

its fantastic

you can not finish your meal unless you are begging for heartburn

doesnt anyone google anything before they comment on it?

this is how we end up with idiots running the show

nobody does their due diligence

we have to order the food to see whats in it

Things that go bump's picture

My bad, but I think I can go make myself a chicken sandwich, fries and an iced tea for about a buck right now, probably less, and it wouldn't be more than I could eat, it would be just enough. All that more than you can eat crap is just a waste of food and not a selling point to me. It encourages the sort of over-indulgence that leads to obesity. Iced tea is practically free and what does a potato cost?

greyghost's picture

exactly smackdaddy, $5.00 for two iced teas that cost maybe 20 cents to make. this company is just cheap to the power of ten. what's the game behind the 1% surcharge? this is an insult to any thinking person. do they expect me to believe that 1% is going to cover their health care costs? perhaps this is just another ploy to extract an extra 1% from their customers to add to their bottom line. i call bullshit!!!!!

johnQpublic's picture

a good vodka martini is going to set you back twelve bucks


must be a democrat to want his beverage at cost

bring your own glass and get it your self and drink it in the alley


jsgibson's picture

The blame for outrageous prices falls squarely on the feral reserve and politicians that enable reckless spending.  The problem is our fiat, paper, conjured out of thin air, MONEY - not "greedy" mid to small size businesses.

SmackDaddy's picture

My point being, if youre going to start itemizing costs like this, you might as well just hand out your cost sheet for everythign you sell.  Cuz I'd really like to know what your margin are on everything I buy.  And dont make the ACA surcharge (which you will pocket) look like a sales-tax type item (whcich you will remit)

SgtShaftoe's picture

Do you think taxes on businesses would not be passed to consumers?  It's kind of an economic law.  Do you think businesses are just going to eat the cost whether it be levied by the state or feds?

Zymurguy's picture

Ummmm, just about all taxes are passed through to the customer from every business offering a product or service to the public.  Read your phone bill lately?


Shit dog there's as much taxes as there are services.  Don't think the govt. doesn't know that?

The govt. does a good job of spreading small bits of taxation all over the place so it doesn't seem so severe.

SmackDaddy's picture

I know exactly what you mean.  I review the phone bills for the company I work for.  We have several items that they try to pass off as tax remitances, but are just more money that they keep.  They just dont want to show certain thing in the base price.  Which is fine I guess, but these taxes are niether precise nor allocable, so it does not make sense to present them as such.  So not only do I have to pay the tax, but you know the companies set an amount that is slightly higher than what they will responsible for, so I'm paying their profit on it too. 

Zymurguy's picture

That could be very true - and also terribly difficult to prove one way or another.

However, I think the more we see exactly what we're paying for, what portion of our goods and services are going to the govt. the better off we're going to be.  It will allow people to make educated decisions regarding theri personal economys.  Being able to make better decisions about your discretionary income will help everyone.

Think of how wonderful it would be if we didn't have the taxes deducted automatically from our pay checks and each quarter we had to write the govt. a check.

I can guarantee there'd be some major changes in how much tax we pay and how big the govt. would be.

Zymurguy's picture

Oh and BTW...

I approve of that avatar!!!

ejmoosa's picture

The end consumer pays every tax.  Always has.  Always will.


That politicians try to hide these taxes is criminal.  That you do not get it and are blaming the business is the problem in and of itself.  Wake up.


To pay ANY tax, the business must get money from where? That's right-you.


effendi's picture

The tax itself may be 7% but there are other costs associated with the tax, Did his accountant charge a fee for advice on the implementation? Did changing the price labels on the shelves cost money? Does ongoing administration cost money?The guy might have to spend another night each week working on paperwork for another stupid tax so getting 3% to cover the costs, headaches and hassles is not unreasonable.


DYS's picture

May I suggest you hop on over to MSNBC.com for news you can understand?

Joe Davola's picture

Let me pull out ol' Roget and see if surcharge is synonymous with raised prices when in the end it still costs me more.

Or have we gone total 1984 and changed the meaning of synonymous.

superflex's picture

$6.50 for a chili cheese dog and $2.50 for an iced tea is what they should be complaining about.

Looks like the owner of Gator's is a greedy fuck.

Skateboarder's picture

Better be real good iced tea for two fiddy.

Damn, those bigass 25c cookies in middle school are probably a buck fifty and tiny now.

LFMayor's picture

No no.  Good things like that are not on First Lady Chewbacca's approved school menu list.  Pay your 1.50 for those whirled peas and dig in.