David Overton, the founder/CEO of the Cheesecake Factory, appeared on CBS This Morning and responded to questions about how Obamacare may affect his 170 restaurants around the country.
Overton pointed out that his company is already paying millions in employee health insurance but that other businesses who don’t are in for a very costly, expensive situation. Overton admitted that he won’t know for sure for about a year if the Cheesecake Factory will have to raise prices to cover additional healthcare costs. With that in mind, he noted that under Obamacare, many businesses will have to pass along the cost to consumers or “cheapen their product.”
When Overton was asked by co-anchor Norah O’Donnell how the Cheesecake Factory will implement and pay for Obamacare, this is what he said in part:
“Well, that – that’s a big question. We are working on that right now. We – we have been waiting to see what people will do and what’s really happening and what the – the different requirements will be. However, we do cover everyone that works over 25 hours today. So, unlike a lot of businesses, we already are paying a great deal in health care. So, we’re not sure how much more it will be – or how much less – or what exactly we’ll do. So, for us, it won’t be as bad as it will be for others, which it will be very costly.”
Co-anchor Charlie Rose posed the question about whether Overton was “worried” about Obamacare. the CEO replied as follows:
“Not worried yet – and, when I hear the numbers, I might be. But, again, because we spend millions and millions of dollars today on health care, we don’t know exactly how much more we’ll pay. For those businesses that don’t cover their employees, they’ll be in for a very expensive situation.”
Earlier this month, a Florida restauranteur announced plans to add an ObamaCare surcharge at the Denny’s and Hurricane Grill & Wings locations he operates. John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, has made conflicting statements about the implications of Obamacare on his franchises. Other employers have indicated that they will cut hours of existing employees or drop health insurance altogether as a result of Obamacare mandates. Walmart recently announced it will end health insurance coverage for new hires.
Watch Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton on CBS discussing Obamacare: