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Monday, February 3, 2014

Obamacare Will Regulate Restaurant Menus?

Section 4025 of The Affordable Care Act requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to list calorie-content information for each menu item on a board at every establishment.

February 1, 2014
Andrew Pontbriand

The Affordable Care Act, or H.R. 3590; is a 950 page bill that presumably, no lawmaker has read in it's entirely. Furthermore, most good reporters, and journalists likely haven't read this novel of regulation that squanders freedom of choice. We do know though, that premiums have already nearly doubled, and for those who have used Tax Software such as Turbo Tax in 2014, have already been warned of next years penalties for "opting out". One of the least spoken about aspects of Obamacare though, is a section I myself have only recently read -- which is one that really redefines the meaning of State-run.

Section 4205 requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to list calorie-content information for each menu item on a board at every establishment. This high cost government intervention into small/medium sized businesses in no way helps consumers, or the businesses of America themselves. In fact, this red measure is going to cause price increases for something as small as a slice of pizza, which will continue to hurt our starving economy.

Here is the Exact Text of Section 4205

According to the Food Marketing Institute, which represents retail grocery chains, the current proposed menu-labeling regulation would cost the industry $1 billion in the first year of implementation with “no additional, quantifiable benefit to supermarket customers, according to the Food and Drug Administration's analysis.” This represents a significant burden for an industry that operates on a profit margin that averages 1 percent.

Now one of the things that this section does do, is give us intent. The laws that are passed in the United States can only be understood when you understand the so-called 'intent of the lawmaker'. The intent of this section, is to have a more clear-cut calorie counter (so-to-speak), which would help consumers decide better if they want food product x.

With all good intentions come the trade off in terms of value in regards to national regulation. As you have seen, the value of this section in the overall scheme is actually a negative.

With the age of the internet having been here for some time, millions of Apps provided by Apple and Android, and easy to use search engines; you would think consumers would rather combat the coming rising prices in their favorite restaurant chains and pizza parlors,

Of course, it was not the decision of the average consumer on whether this section would be added or not.

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