Papa John's on health care: Your pizza prices could go up

Photo: 'Papa Johns with Italian Sausage,' © 2010 by Mark Anbinder, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

Business is booming at Papa John's pizza shops across the United States. According to company executives, profits and growth in the national pizza chain are both up.

However, company CEO John Schnatter says prices on his pies may soon be going up, and the new health care bill is to blame.

In a call with shareholders, Schnatter, the figure who's seen in numerous commercials for the brand, warned that when President Barack Obama's health care act goes into effect in 2014, he expects prices to rise by as much as 20 cents per pizza.

"If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers," Shnatter said on a conference call, according to Politico.

That's a lot of dough for one pizza order, and Schnatter didn't say how he came to that number. Experts say, though, that it's too soon to know the exact costs for when the Obama plan is implemented. In fact, some say it might save businesses money.

Critics note that the CEO has served as a major fundraiser for Mitt Romney, whose GOP has vowed repeatedly to repeal the health care law.

Several Papa John's employees say that they get great health care from the company and that both full and part-time employees qualify for family coverage. However, company and local franchise officials declined requests for interviews.

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