Florida restaurant chain adds 'Obamacare Surcharge' to bills

"We're definitely doing it to stay afloat. It's not political in any way," says director of operations of Gator's Dockside Group.
By Evan Bleier   |   Feb. 28, 2014 at 10:05 AM  |  Updated Feb. 28, 2014 at 10:58 AM   |   Comments

LAKE COUNTY, Fla., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A popular restaurant chain in Central Florida has added an “Obamacare Surcharge” to its bills in an effort to help deal with cost of the Affordable Care Act.

Ten Gator's Dockside locations in Lake County, Lakeland and the Jacksonville area now feature signs publicizing that they will be adding an extra one percent charge on the tabs of their customers.

"We wanted to definitely be transparent that affordable healthcare is part of the cost of doing business," Sandra Clark, the director of operations with franchise owner Gator's Dockside Group, told WPEC.

"I don't think it's the right thing to do because, you know, you're penalizing us. But at the same time you have to pay employees and take care of them as well and I totally understand that too," said customer Mauri Carver.

"I don't agree with it. I don't," added customer Brian Earwood.

The owners of the chain said the surcharge will help pay the healthcare costs for their 500 full-time employees. Under the Affordable Care Act, companies with 50 or more full-time employees are required to provide health care coverage for those workers beginning in 2015.

"We're definitely doing it to stay afloat. It's not political in any way. The president may have brought this agenda to forefront. It's law now and what's law made it real for us," Clark said.

[CNN Money]

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