Association Members Meet With Governor to Discuss Burden on Small Businesses That Want to Provide Health Care

Restaurateurs from Pasadena, Capitola Meet with Governor, Families at Round Table

Sacramento – California Restaurant Association (CRA) members Ted Burke of Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola and Michael Osborn of Pie ‘N Burger Restaurant in Pasadena participated today in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s business roundtable to discuss the burdens that rising health care costs put on small businesses that want to provide health care for their employees.

“We offer health benefits, but it’s not about good employers and bad employers,” said Burke. “It’s about employers that can afford to provide health care, and those who can’t afford it.”

Burke offers health care to his employees, but in recent years spends more in annual health care costs than the restaurant profits. Additionally, 75 percent of his employees decline coverage because they either choose not to or cannot afford to pay even half of the premium.

“Cutting into my already very narrow profit margin to provide health care would likely put me out of business,” said Osborn. “You can only raise prices so much, and with minimum wage going up $1.25 over the next two years and gas prices rising, providing health care for my employees is just something I cannot afford to do until costs come down significantly.”

The CRA defeated the employer health care mandate, Proposition 72, in the November 2004 election. Since then, the CRA has been committed to be a part of the right solution to the growing problem of uninsured Californians and has met with a number of stakeholders that are critical players in solving this problem.

To contact either of these CRA members, please contact Jordan Traverso at (916) 431-2758.