June 30, 2012 9:00 am NJ.com…
The Brownstone, the lavish Paterson catering venue, offers health care coverage for employees who want it. But that may change as management tries to chart a course in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of health care reform Thursday.
“I don’t know what my obligations even are at this point, and that’s what’s scary to me,” said Albert Manzo, president of family-owned business The Brownstone House Inc.
But the bottom line, Manzo said, is that any additional costs The Brownstone must bear in terms of health insurance will be passed on.
“I’m going to have to decide what is going to work for me,” he said. “Now do I just raise my prices? There’s no question that the consumer is going to be impacted.”
The Brownstone has about 200 full-time and part-time employees, Manzo said. Under the federal health law affirmed by the high court, businesses with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health coverage for them, or pay a penalty.
That’s not a black-and-white issue in Manzo’s trade. For example, waiters work full time during certain periods, part time during others. He doesn’t know how they would be characterized under the health law.
The Brownstone definitely will weigh whether to stop offering health coverage entirely, even if it must then pay a federal penalty, said Manzo.
“I may just push everybody out and say we’re not doing health care, period,” he said. “If I take the penalty and add it up and it’s less than the health care plan that I can reasonably give. Do the math. If it’s $10,000 a month to put everybody in health care, and the penalty is $5,000 a month, I’m going to throw everybody out.”
The Brownstone has a chief financial officer who also is a certified public accountant, and he will be attending seminars to find out more about the impact of federal health care reform,” Manzo said.
(Thanks to SH reader “EK”!!!)