- The Washington Times - Monday, January 20, 2014

The new health care law has claimed a new victim in the nation’s capital — a popular Friday lunch buffet in Georgetown.

Patrons to Filomena, a restaurant in the tony neighborhood, told a widely read blog that the change didn’t seem like a big deal, but the reason for it did. 

A note at Filomena said the restaurant faces “new expenses as a result of the health care reform and the Friday Buffet, though wonderful, was not profitable and required extra staff which we can no longer sustain.”

The blog, the Prince of Petworth, followed up with Filomena’s management, who said they were not trying to make a political statement but that they were trimming costs because of the Affordable Care Act’s impending “employer mandate.”

The mandate, which takes effect in 2015, requires employers of 50 or more employees to provide health coverage or face fines.

Critics of the mandate say it is a job-killer, because companies will trim payroll or cut employees’ hours to stay below the threshold of 50 full-time employees instead of facing the unsustainable cost of providing health insurance or hefty fines.

President Obama delayed the implemented of the mandate by one year, to after the midterm elections.

“Even though the Health Care Reform employer mandate of 50 or more employees had to be offered health care coverage was postponed one year, Filomena decided to offer that coverage, this year, 2014 and not wait until 2015 as most restaurants have done,” the restaurant’s management wrote to Prince of Petworth. “We want to offer coverage to our employees but honestly have to find new ways to pay for it since we are so labor intense (close to 90 employees for 150-seat restaurant).”

Details of the story can be found at https://www.popville.com/2014/01/filomena-restaurant-cuts-lunch-buffet-as-a-result-of-the-healthcare-reform/.


• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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