National health care for 11 cents per pizza

Updated
 
John Schnatter, Romney backer and CEO of Papa John's.
John Schnatter, Romney backer and CEO of Papa John's.
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John Schnatter, CEO of the Papa John’s pizza chain, shared a political, election-year message during a shareholders conference call the other day. His message: the Affordable Care Act will be bad for his business and its customers.

On a conference call last week, CEO and founder John Schnatter (a Mitt Romney supporter and fundraiser) said the health care law’s changes – set to go into effect in 2014 – will result in higher costs for the company – which they vowed to pass onto consumers.

“Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis,” Schnatter said.

Matt Yglesias had the same reaction I did: “Stipulating for a moment that this is true, doesn’t it seem like a rather small price to pay?”

Actually, yes. I haven’t the foggiest idea if Schnatter’s figures are accurate, and given that his enthusiastic support for the Romney campaign, I’d recommend caution before accepting them as fact.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say the Papa John’s CEO is correct and the price of a large pepperoni pizza will go from $14.08 to $14.19 (or, on the outside, $14.22) as a consequence of the Affordable Care Act. This is supposed to make Americans oppose the health care law?

In other words, Schnatter is effectively arguing, “On the one hand, 30 million Americans will have access to affordable health care; seniors will pay less for prescription medication; people with pre-existing conditions will be protected; young adults will be able to stay on their families’ plans; annual and lifetime caps will be eliminated; and preventive care will be available to all without copays. On the other hand, consumers might have to pay an additional 11 cents on a pizza.”

Schnatter seems to think the reaction should be obvious. As it happens, I think it is obvious, but not in the way he prefers.

Affordable Care Act and Obamacare

National health care for 11 cents per pizza

Updated