By John Aman
Americans already know their health-care insurance premiums are rising because of Obamacare, along with likely hikes in the cost of health care itself.
But they might not have known they will be paying more for pizza.
The National Journal reports fans of the pies probably should consider themselves lucky they still can get them at all.
Papa John’s founder John Schnatter earlier had said prices would go up 14 cents to cover higher health insurance expenses, the Journal reported.
Now, Domino’s has joined the law’s critics.
Executive Vice President Lynn Liddle said Obamacare’s calorie-posting requirement will cost local franchises as much as $5,000, National Journal said.
“We’re a big-name brand, but these are all very small-business people,” Liddle told the Journal. “Half of our 1,000 franchisees in the United States only own one pizza store.”
Under the new law, the Food and Drug Administration is required to post calories in food establishments.
“It spits out the calorie counts for your specific choice of pizza,” Liddle said. “You can’t just slap those calories on a menu board. Each pizza is so different, there’d have to be a range.”
He said average store costs to post the information total about $5,000, even though most people order online or on the phone.
But count yourselves fortunate, the report noted.
Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, told Time last year that an Obama re-election would mean the end of deep-dish pizza, the Journal said.
“With Obama in a second term,” Cain said at the time, “there will be no pizza. For anyone.”
The costs of Obamacare have been trickling down to the public for weeks. Many of the costs are linked to the Obama statement that consumers would be able to keep the coverage they have.
Two San Francisco residents say health insurance will now cost them an additional $750 a month.
Lifelong Democrats Lee Hammack and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, both voted for Obama, even giving to Organizing for America, Obama’s grassroots political arm.
But their insurance provider, Kaiser Permanente, recently told them their $550 a month plan was being canceled because it didn’t satisfy Obamacare requirements. In its place, they were offered a plan costing almost $1,300 a month with worse benefits.
Hammack sent a letter to California’s U.S. senators and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asking for help.
“We believe that the act is good for health care, the economy, & the future of our nation,” Hammack and his wife wrote. “However, ACA options for middle income individuals ages 59 & 60 are unaffordable. We’re learning that many others are similarly affected. In that spirit we ask that you fix this, for all of our sakes.”
It was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who let it slip that Democrats “all knew” Obama was not telling the truth when he repeatedly promised Obamacare will not force anyone to lose their health insurance.
ABC News’ Martha Raddatz asked Gillibrand on “This Week” recently if the president had misled her and fellow Democrats when he pledged that “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan.”
The president “should have just been more specific,” Gillibrand said at first. But when pressed, she acknowledged, “No, we all knew.”
Obama restated his false promise at least 36 times over the last five years. It was a central Obamacare selling point, which still is posted on the White House website under the headline “Facts are stubborn things.”
The no-cancellation promise was one of many Obamacare messages crafted by the Herndon Alliance, a group funded by the progressive activist organization Media Matters for America, as WND recently reported.
Now that some 5 million people have been dropped by insurers forced to comply with Obamacare’s rich coverage demands, Americans are discovering that the real message is, “If you like your insurance plan, too bad,” as health policy expert Sally Pipes points out.
The president attempted an explanation to supporters Nov. 4 that, polls indicate, has not satisfied many Americans.
“If you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan,” the president told supporters on Nov. 4, “what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”
Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler gave the president “four Pinocchios” – the ultimate in dishonesty – for “one of the most famous statements of his presidency.”
“The president’s statements were sweeping and unequivocal – and made both before and after the bill became law,” he wrote.
The Obama administration knew early on that millions of Americans would lose coverage due to Obamacare.
Just three months after Democrats in Washington passed Obamacare on a party-line vote, the administration said in a little-noticed reference in the June 17, 2010, Federal Register that about half of Americans with employer-provided insurance or individual coverage would lose their policies by the end of 2013.
On pages 34,552-53 of the Federal Register, the Obama administration offered a “mid-range estimate that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013.” The estimate for individual policies that would not be grandfathered was 40-67 percent.
That means that 93 million Americans are at risk of losing their insurance, according to Manhattan Institute scholar Avik Roy.
A more recent estimate from Duke University health care economist Christopher Conover says 129 million people will lose their policies by the end of 2014.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cited the administration’s own projections for how many Americans will lose coverage in September 2010 when Senate Republicans offered a resolution to ensure Americans didn’t lose their plans.
The measure would have blocked the highly restrictive grandfather rule, a set of HHS regulations that permit pre-Obamacare insurance plans only if they are largely unchanged.
Senate Democrats defeated the GOP proposal on a party-line vote.
Under the grandfather rule, minor insurance plan adjustments, including increasing co-payments by more than $5 or 15 percent (whichever is greater), raising deductibles, or raising what a worker pays for his premium, all put a plan outside the law.
“The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality,” Grassley said on the Senate floor at the time of the vote.
“Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it.”
Many Democrats joined the president in telling the public not to worry about losing their health insurance. A list compiled by Sen. Mitch McConnell shows that 27 Senate Democrats repeated the Obama’s “like it, keep it” promise.
The list, as reported by the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, includes Senate Democratic leaders as well as senators facing toughing re-election battles in 2014, including Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich, and Kay Hagan.
The senators parroting the president included:
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.: “In fact, one of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it.” (Congressional Record, S.8642, 8/3/09)
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.: “We believe – and we stand by this – if you like your current health insurance plan, you will be able to keep it, plain and simple, straightforward.” (Congressional Record, S.6401, 6/10/09)
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.: “If you like your insurance, you keep it.” (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Bill Mark-Up, 9/29/09)
Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz on June 10, 2009, “If you like what you have and you want to keep it, you have the choice to do that.”
It’s unclear how Pelosi might respond to her constituents losing their health care, but an apology has already been ruled out.
She and other House Democratic leaders, Steny Hoyer, Xavier Becerra and Jim Clyburn, all refused Nov. 14 to express regret for making the same false claim as Obama.
“I don’t think there’s anything for us to apologize for,” said Clyburn.
“There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act that said that your insurance company should cancel you,” said Pelosi.
Gallbladder cancer survivor Edie Littlefield Sundby would disagree. She has fought and survived the advanced cancer for nearly seven years but was notified this year that her insurance provider was leaving the California market and her policy will be canceled Dec. 31.
She wrote in the Wall Street Journal that her search for a replacement policy that would allow her to keep the doctors who have kept her alive has been fruitless.
The “greatest source of frustration,” Sundby said, is California’s health-insurance exchange, regarded by some as one of the nation’s best. Four weeks of studying her options on the website left her and her insurance broker “as confused as ever.”
“What happened to the president’s promise, ‘You can keep your health plan’? Or to the promise that ‘You can keep your doctor?’” Sundby asked.
“Thanks to the law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan. The exchange would force me to give up a world-class physician.”