Papa John's CEO John Schnatter did more than put the Affordable Care Act under the microscope this week, he threw it in a hot oven, saying the law will increase the price of a pizza by 11 to 14 cents. But an editorial in The Courier-Journal argues all Schatter did was prove the law's value.
"That's a bargain if it means thousands of Papa John's employees in all 50 states are going to be getting health coverage and we're not going to have to foot the bill when hardworking but uninsured pizza chefs get ill and end up in the hospital," the editorial reads. Schnatter's comments drew national attention and were the focus of stories by 60 media outlets, reports Chris Otts for The Courier-Journal. They were also the brunt of the joke in a segment on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." "Fourteen cents," said host Stephen Colbert. "That's three times the value of a Papa John's pizza." Schnatter's comments were answers to questions from a stock analyst about the cost of health care for the company. "We're not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry," he said. "But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare." The law "requires that businesses with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees offer health benefits to those employees and their dependents or face penalties," Otts reports. The law could mean Louisville-based Papa John's International and its franchises will have to provide health care coverage to its employees, most of whom work part time. About 14,400 of Papa John's 16,500 employees work in company-owned stores. (Read more)