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Businessman: I Had To Sell My Pizza Franchises Because Of Obamacare

CiCi's Pizza franchise owner explains how the employer mandate delay impacted his own business.


VAN SUSTEREN: So why did the mandate force you to sell your three pizza franchises?

WESTBROOK: I've been a CiCi's franchisee for almost 20 years and I always look for a way to grow the number of unit that I had until the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what has that done and why did that force you to sell them?

WESTBROOK: In 2010 I was president for the Texas Restaurant Association and it was my job to track the efforts of the House and Senate to pass that bill and then also find out what was inside it. The first thing that we did when it passed is take a look at penalties that were involved because there were so many other unknowns within the 10,000 pages of that law.

And so when I calculated personally on how it would affect me, I had 96 full-time equivalent employees at the time. And the penalty, which has now become a tax, was at the time, calculated at $2,300 per full-time equivalent employee. Well, that came out to almost $221,000. My three restaurants were top performing restaurants within the franchise, and that would have cost me $78,000 more than what I made out of my restaurants in 2011.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what is your thought now that you hear that Obama administration has delayed the employer mandate for one year? What's your thought about that?

WESTBROOK: I think there's still so much confusion in the document itself and in thousands of pages of the law that they postponed it just enough to try to get a little more comfortable with enforcing that. However, for me as a franchisee I can't put my faith in the fact that Congress is going to inevitably reverse that decision.

VAN SUSTEREN: You sold your -- sold two franchises last fall. The other one closes, the third one closes August 1. If you knew it would be delayed, would that have changed your business decisions in any way?

WESTBROOK: I don't think so, Greta, because I couldn't put faith in the fact that Congress was going to make enough changes in the law to where it would be beneficial to my particular business plan for my franchise.

VAN SUSTEREN: So anyway, so your franchises are sold and I imagine you're not particularly happy with how this worked out.

WESTBROOK: No, not at all. It is a crying shame when government actually causes to you shrink your business rather than grow your business and provide additional employment for the economy.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bob, thank you. Good luck, sir.

WESTBROOK: Thank you.

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