Last week, John Schnatter, the founder and CEO of Papa John's Pizza - a Mitt Romney supporter and fundraiser - announced that the Affordable Care Act will raise the cost of his pizza 11 to 14 cents each, or 15 to 20 cents per order.
But local pizza historian Brian Dwyer, creator and spokesperson for Pizza Brain, says "As a pizza consumer, I will gladly pay 20 cents more per pie if that meant that people and their families got health insurance."
"The whole idea of a pizza shop is that it is a community hub, where strangers can meet each other and share a slice of pizza. Pizza is so inherently communal that to complain about 11 cents a slice is a good indicator that the owner of Papa Johns has lost touch with the heart of what pizza is really about; community."
When Pizza Brain opens in September 2012, it will display Brian Dwyer's collection of pizza memorabilia, the Guinness record holder for the biggest such collection in the world. It will also serve pizza.
Brian, a small business owner says he is excited about the prospect of providing his employees health insurance. "We want to provide health insurance for our employees. As small business owners we want to provide our employees with the best possible options. To be able to give back to the people that work for and with us is what Pizza Brain is all about."
Luckily for Brian and the other owners of Pizza Brain, under the Affordable Care Act small businesses who provide health insurance to their employees qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% to offset the cost of insurance.
And beginning in 2014, small businesses with generally fewer than 100 employees can shop in an Affordable Insurance Exchange, which gives them the leveraging power similar to what a large business enjoys when purchasing health insurance.
Here's something odd: There's nothing on Mitt Romney's Web site about the sixth anniversary of Romneycare. No news releases. No blog posts. Nothing.
And yet, Romneycare is doing pretty well. As you can see in Sarah's charts, it's covered about 95 percent of Massachusetts adults. Premiums are growing more slowly than the national average in both the employer and individual markets. And the law is, perhaps most importantly, very popular in Massachusetts.
Back in March, Ezra Klein interviewed "MIT economist Jon Gruber, who helped design the Massachusetts health reforms, on Romney's puzzling reticence to tout his signature accomplishment. It's relevant today, too."
Editor-in-Chief Asher Smith: Earlier today, President Obama remarked to NBC on the degree of similarity between his health-care reform policies and those that you passed in Massachusetts under your term as governor. How is the health-care reform legislation signed by Obama last week significantly different from the policies that you passed in Massachusetts?
Gov. Mitt Romney: Well, there are similarities. And some of the best features of his health-care plan are like ours - such as, we do not allow insurance companies to drop people who develop illnesses, our insurance is entirely portable, virtually all of our citizens are insured and there is an individual responsibility for getting insurance.
The big differences are that he raised taxes; we did not. He cut Medicare; we did not. He put in place price controls; we did not. And his is a federal program — a one-size-fits-all solution — and in our view — in my view, the best approach is a state-by-state creation of programs designed to fit the needs of citizens of each state.
Smith: Do you have any regrets now about signing Massachusetts' version of health-care reform into law?
Romney: I am proud of what we accomplished. It was a step forward. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than what we had before.
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