Texas Restaurant Closes, And The Owner Is Blaming Obamacare

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Annabel Scott Contributor
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A restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas is closing its doors after five years of business, and the owner says the Affordable Care Act is to blame.

Bill and Johnnie Katz, owners of Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill, took to the restaurant’s Facebook on Monday to announce the closing of the restaurant in the heart of downtown Fort Worth.

“Several factors led to this decision, but the proverbial straw was brought on by the Affordable Care Act,” the statement says. “If we were to stay in business, there was no way for us to have borne the weight of the oppressive penalties for failing to comply with the mandates of that legislature.”

The employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act requires businesses with more than 50 full-time employees must provide health care for at least 95 percent of the employees and dependents up to age 26, or pay a fee.

Katz told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that that between his two restaurants in Fort Worth and Dallas, he has more than 50 employees. Because he doesn’t provide health care to his staff, starting Jan. 1, he will face a penalty between $200,000 and $300,000.

“I don’t have that kind of money,” Katz told the Star-Telegram. “Instead of 50 or 60 people without healthcare, we have 50 or 60 people that aren’t employed anymore. It makes no sense.”

Katz says that although the restaurant’s Fort Worth location will be closing, the Dallas location will remain open because it produces more profit.

“Another establishment goes out of business. Over 50 people lose their job. Suppliers and vendors lose the revenue of our account. Loyal patrons have one less option for dining out,” says Katz. “I love the store. I love Fort Worth. But I was out of aces. The Affordable Care Act — what an oxymoron — made it impossible.”