Shunning Hardees

Andy Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants. This company brings you Hardees, Carl’s Jr, Green Burrito, and Red Burrito. He had an article published in the Wall Street Journal about how his employees “shunned Obamacare“. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Of my company’s 5,453 eligible employees, only 420 actually enrolled. The other 5,033 opted to pay a penalty.

That is how the article starts. He has 5,453 employees who could sign up for “Obamacare” (a ridiculous statement in and of itself) and only 420 actually did. So what does he mean. What is he trying to say with the meaningless statement that only 420 of his employees “signed up for Obamacare”? In reality he later goes on and states that they signed up for Obamacare compliant coverage, a better explanation, but potentially dishonest.

But first let’s talk about who these employees are. Puzder states:

Among the Affordable Care Act’s many economic and political disruptions, the law has unintentionally encouraged employers to convert full-time jobs into part-time jobs. ObamaCare mandates that employers offer health insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours a week, or pay a penalty up to $3,000 an employee. But employers have no such obligation for employees who work less than 30 hours a week, making part-time employment less costly.

Let’s get this perfectly clear. The law does not “encourage” employers to only hire part time employees. The employers make the decision themselves to only hire part time employees to avoid having to either pay a per employee penalty or to cover their insurance. An employer that could hire X employees at full time but instead chooses to employ 2 times the employees at half the hours is not doing so because the law encouraged them to do so. They are doing so because they are cheap bastards who base their business decisions on greed. They do not wish to provide for the persons helping them make their profit. They want to pay out as little as possible and are using government regulations as an excuse to do so. They could hire these employees at full time and give them quality health insurance to make sure they can remain productive employees. However, they choose to do otherwise. That is their choice and no responsibility rests on government otherwise.

The last open-enrollment date for our company, CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc., was Dec. 4, 2014. As of that date, our company had approximately 20,000 employees, 6,900 of whom worked 30 or more hours a week and were eligible for ObamaCare-compliant health insurance.

So 13,000 of their employees are part time who do not get a full time wage. Nice.

Of the 6,900 eligible employees, 1,447 already had ObamaCare-compliant insurance through our pre-existing company plans. That left 5,453 employees eligible to sign up. A grand total of 420 actually enrolled. That’s a mere 2% of total employees, or 6% of eligible employees.

What Puzder fails to do is give us is information on those other employees who were eligible. How many of the 5,033 employees who chose to not sign up have a spouse with coverage through his/her company? How many of them live in states where the medicaid expansion was accepted and because of their low wages qualify them for Medicaid which has no premium requirements. How many of them simply qualify for Medicaid without the expansion. How many of them are under 28 and have parental insurance? He ignores such possibilities and suggests that it all must be because they are “rejecting Obamacare”. If an employee obtained a Medicaid policy that would mean the employee accepted a policy that is Obamacare compliant and as such would not have rejected Obamacare at all.

But look at the numbers. His company hires 65.5% of its employees at the part time level and as such avoids the decision to provide health insurance or to pay the $3,000 per head penalty for them. He likely knows that by making that decision those employees will likely be obtaining some sort of needs based health coverage like Medicaid. So in reality, it is likely that at least 75% of his company has some form of Obamacare compliant coverage and the rest of them may very well have that coverage as well via Medicaid, spousal, or parental coverage. But he wont give us that information. So not only is he a cheapskate (for running his company in such a way that almost 2/3 of his company are part time employees) but he is misleading at best and a liar at worse for leaving out the other vital information that would give us a clearer picture of how many actual employees of his are not covered by an Obamacare compliant plan.

So no, I will no longer be dining at Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr. I encourage you to refrain from their establishments as well. Don’t try and pass off your behavior on Obama and the Affordable Care Act. It wont fly with this consumer.

 

 

Liberal Dan Radio 7/2/2014: Hobby Lobby and Freagle

On the July 2, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The horrible ruling by the Supreme Court came down pertaining to Hobby Lobby and the mandate for employer based coverage to provide oral contraception. I will go into why this ruling was terrible. (Check out liberaldan.com and @liberaldanradio on Twitter to see some of my initial criticisms).

Then, in the second half hour of the show, I will have on Niki Papazoglakis, founder of Freagle, the virtual town square. We will discuss why she started this venture, what her plans for it are, and how you can help get it off the ground.

Those stories, headlines, tweet of the week, and more Wednesday and 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Some brief points on the oral contraception madate ruling

A) It ignores science. Science has not shown any evidence that oral contraception is an abortifacient (even in the extremely wrong definition of abortion that includes preventing implantation)

B) I don’t want ANYBODY’S religious freedoms trampled on but if one makes a claim that a pill causes an abortion as part of their legal filings they should be required to prove that before it is accepted as an argument before the court. If you say “x harms me and as such I shouldn’t be required to do x” shouldn’t you have to prove the harm done by x? Or are we now allowing people to claim harm when none exists?

C) It doesn’t matter how many kinds of pills Hobby Lobby provides. Other companies take an even more restrictive stance and would ban all oral contraception. This ruling allows that.

D) the decision of what pill a patient should use should be up to her and her doctor only. Hobby Lobby (and other employers) should have no say.

E) The birth control, and any other benefit obtained in lieu of pay, should all be considered paid, IN FULL, by that employees labor and that employees labor alone.

F) This is not about religious freedom. Had an Islamic group complained under the RFRA Conservatives would not have come out in support of them. This is about forcing Christian beliefs on others using government.

G) Previously the way that we dealt with a bad ruling (Lily Ledbetter v Goodyear Tire) we elected a Democratic Congress to support this President and enable him to deliver on a change to the law via the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It is time to rally the troops and do this again. If we edit the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and require persons claiming harm to establish that harm is actually happening before requiring government to prove why the actions causing the harm are necessary then we can return the law back to where it should be.

Liberal Dan Radio 3/26/2014: Hobby Lobby and Birth Control

On the March 26, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

I will discuss Hobby Lobby and their views on birth control. That is it. The entire hour will be devoted to the problems and flaws that the Hobby Lobby case has and the arguments made before the Supreme Court. See the previous blog post for more information on where I will be coming from on the podcast.

So tune in at 8pm Central and/or download the podcast afterwards.

 

Liberal Dan Radio 10/30/2013: It’s the context, stupid!

On the October 30th episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The Baracknaphobes and the Obamascared are still going at it. In their deperate and pathetic attempts to stop the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

In this episdoe I will go into some of the recent lies, including the claims that are being made out of context about his words.

Hmmm, where did we see that before?

Those topics, words of redneck wisdom, tweet of the week, headlines and more tonight on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Congressman Scalise promotes garbage GOP healthcare bill

Back during the healthcare debates of 2009 the GOP promoted a healthcare bill that was their “compromise bill” to the Affordable Care Act. (And when I say compromise I mean the bill that they wanted the Democrats to pass as a compromise to the ACA, some compromise). That bill was garbage. It seems that this bill resurrects all the bad from that bill while throwing out all the good that the ACA has to offer.

So, you ask, where can you read this horrible bill? Well right here.

So, what makes it so bad? Well, first of all it starts by repealing every single provision of the ACA as well as the “fixer” law that amended the ACA after its passage. What does this mean to you? Well, even Fox News lays out some reasons why Americans will love “Obamacare”. So you lose all that.

I have searched the bill that Scalise and other GOP members are supporting for the term “rescission”. It does not exist. So this means that insurers, under the GOP bill, would be allowed to cancel your policy if you are sick. Insurers should be required to insure you through your sickness. If they can just drop your policy if you are sick, it stops being insurance.

I searched the bill for the word “maximum”. See, the ACA prohibits annual and lifetime maximums. With this bill, that ban goes away. So an insurer can decide “hey, you have cost us too much money, go pay for the rest of your treatment by yourself”.

I searched for “existing” to see how the law deals with preexisting conditions. This bill would push individuals with preexisting conditions into high risk pools. This forces high risk insureds on the state without allowing the state to benefit from the pooling effect that comes with the inclusion of lower risk individuals. This plan would bankrupt the states. Anybody living in Louisiana should know how horrible high risk pools are. Congressman Scalise should be familiar with Citizens insurance. This was the property insurance of last resort for homeowners in Louisiana. It would be made available to those businesses that didn’t want to write business in certain areas of Louisiana. It was expensive and it was broken. Citizens did not get to offset its high risk policies with lower risk ones. It was automatically doomed to fail. Yet he wants to do the same thing with health insurance? That is not how insurance is supposed to work. In insurance you create large pools so that the losses from certain people are offset by the lack of losses from other people.

The previous bill allowed insurers to select a home, or primary, state where the insurer will be based. By selecting this home state the GOP sponsored bill would allow a company operating in state A to circumvent the laws of state B if it sells policies in state B. This is a violation of the 10th amendment. A state should absolutely be able to dictate regulations on the insurance products sold within its borders. This idea stems from the lie that Conservatives often repeat that a company should be able to “sell insurance across state lines”. I work for an insurer. I have written code specifically to handle insurance that the company sold in a state other than the state we are based. The only requirement is that the policies sold in other states needed to follow the laws of that other state. This is reasonable. The GOP suggestion is not.

The bill contains the following language:

CLARIFY USE OF DRUGS IN PREVENTIVE CARE.—Subparagraph (C) of section 223(c)(2) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘Preventive care shall include prescription and over-the-counter drugs and medicines which have the primary purpose of preventing the onset of, further deterioration from, or complications associated with chronic conditions, illnesses, or diseases

This is clearly written to eliminate the idea that oral contraceptives should be considered to be preventive care. It is considered preventive care under the ACA. The GOP hates oral contraception (even though it prevents abortion). Go figure. This is just stupidity.

The bill imposes medical malpractice limits. For some reason the GOP thinks that reducing the possible money that one can get from a medical malpractice case will some how help insurance rates. It doesn’t and it also winds up hurting patients harmed by malpractice. Watch one example of how medical malpractice caps hurt people.

And of course, to make sure the bill doesn’t pass, the GOP included abortion language. Because nobody knows the body of a woman and its needs better than Congressman Steve Scalise.

This bill could very well pass the House. There is no way it passes the Senate. So why propose this garbage? Well, just to waste time I guess because the GOP in the House of Representatives are not doing anything else meaningful at the moment. So why not introduce a terrible bill to boot.

Liberal Dan Radio October 9th, 2013: More On Obamacare Liars

On the October 9th episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

I will be continuing the discussion of the lies surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Some have popped up just recently in the last week and some have been around for a while. I will go over some of the newer ones (like people who try and compare premium costs with yearly costs) and some of the older ones (like the lie that Conservatives repeat that they must be right on healthcare if a majority of people polled oppose the law).

I will also go into a little bit of the government shutdown. Who is really to blame? Various opinions have been given and I will go over some of them here.

Those topics, Words of Redneck Wisdom, Headlines, Tweet of the Week and more, on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio October 2nd, 2013: How to deal with the Obamascared

On the October 2nd episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

This eposide will be devoted to the Affordable Care Act, i.e. Obamacare.

What does it mean for you? What are the benefits? Are there any drawbacks? Is the law perfect? What would I change about the law?

But this just scratches the surface of what we can talk about when it comes to Obamacare. There is also the vast criticisms from the right wing about how bad it is. If the law was that bad, why wouldn’t the Republicans allow it to fall flat on its face?

And what are the lies out there? Conservatives are spreading all sorts of lies about the law and they need to be debunked. Is Congress and the Presdient really “exempted” from the law? Is that even possible? If not, where does that idea come from?

What about the idea that Obama lied about losing your coverage? What did he say? If someone loses coverage between the passage of the law and now, does that mean that Obama lied?

And that just scratches the surface. All of those topics plus headlines, the tweet of the week, words of redneck wisdom and more Wednesday on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Boycott companies who threaten over “Obamacare”

Companies are threatening to either fire employees and/or raise prices because of Obamacare. The owners could, of course, choose to eat some of the costs in order to make sure their employees have healthcare. But instead they will be greedy and lay people off, cut hours, or raise prices.

So I am calling for a boycott of all such companies. Currently we have:

Applebees New York Franchises owned by Zane Tankel.

Papa John’s

Companies under the Forward Coproration

Add more companies below: