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Papa John says it isn’t so

After coming under fire for supposedly threatening to fire people over the costs of Obamacare, the CEO of Papa John's insists he never did so. (AP image)

For months we’ve been hearing warnings from businessmen about the cost of Obamacare – among them, the CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, John Schnatter. He was quoted as calling it a lose-lose and saying Papa John’s might have to cut employees’ hours.

And of course, it just erupted all over the Internet.

Critics blasted his 40,000 square foot mansion with its 22 car garage.

“And this guy doesn’t want to give pizza delivery drivers health insurance?!” lamented a CNBC host.

He does have a big house.

“He has a moat, and you’re worried about three or four cents a pizza?!”

But now he’s had enough of this, and issued a statement saying he never threatened to cut employees because of Obamacare.

He’d been talking to a class for entrepreneurs at a Florida college, and happened to mention that in Hawaii. There is a type of Obamacare, which did cause franchise owners to cut hours because any time there is a new law like this business people will try to find a way around it.

But he also said universal insurance was a good idea, and because every employer has to provide it, no one’s at a competitive disadvantage. Papa John’s is actually planning to add 5,000 jobs worldwide.

And in a conference call with investors, he seemed to play down the extra cost.

“The Obamacare will cost about 11 to 14 cents per pizza. To put that in perspective, our average delivery charge is about tenfold our estimated cost of Obamacare to Papa John’s,” he said.

So put away the pitchforks. The price of pizza will go up at most 14 cents. As if anyone can actually figure out what a pizza costs anyway.

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