Small Businessman Describes Obamacare Hardships

LA based Barney's Beanery owner says Obamacare will consume up to a third of profits

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The owner of Los Angeles based restaurant/bar chain "Barney's Beanery" David Houston described challenges Obamacare is posing to his business Monday on "Your World."

Houston said a quarter to a third of his profits "will be eaten up" by increased healthcare costs directly attributable to Obamacare.

However, predicting exactly how much of his profits will be consumed by healthcare reform is difficult because of uncertainty surrounding the law, Houston said:

STUART VARNEY: […] Can you tell me specifically in what the way Obamacare will hurt you and your business?

DAVID HOUSTON: Well, I can tell you in broad strokes. I can't tell you a lot of specifics because they're not even known at this point. I've gone to four or five conferences about Obamacare, and each one begins the same way: a lawyer will stand up in front of the crowd and will say "this is what the think may happen at this point, but the details are changing." So I know this is going to cost me more money, which is going to make it more difficult to run the business.

STAURT VARNEY: In what way will it cost you more money, you've got to pay more for health coverage for employees, is that it?

DAVID HOUSTON: Yeah, we have a number of fulltime employees that we'll have to pick up the coverage for and it's going to cost, looking at maybe up to a quarter to a third of our profits will be eaten up by the healthcare costs, yes.

STUART VARNEY: Would you be prepared to say that you will not be expanding until you find out exactly what Obamacare is going to do to you? You're not going to hire anymore people?

DAVID HOUSTON: It's going to make hiring difficult and make planning the future difficult and may make expansion plans just roll out a heck of a lot slower. That means much less capital each year, it's going to be — we'll expand slower if we expand at all.

Houston's concern about Obamacare's effect on healthcare costs for employers has been echoed by many in the small business community, including Subway co-founder Fred Deluca: