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Starbucks CEO and Obamacare Supporter Now Decries Law's Small Business Impact

1:30 PM, Mar 22, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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The Seattle Times has an interesting interview with Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks. After being one of corporate America's most prominent supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Schultz is now having second thoughts about the law:

Q: Starbucks was vocal about [wanting] health-care reform. How do you feel about how it worked out?

A: We have been a leader for almost 20 years now in demonstrating our heartfelt commitment to making sure that we provide health coverage for the majority of our people.

That cost last year was $250 million. We have faced double-digit increases for almost five consecutive years with no end in sight.

So, when I was invited to the White House prior to health care being reformed, I was very supportive of the president's plan, primarily because I felt it was literally a fracturing of humanity for almost 50 million Americans not to have health insurance.

There's no plan that would be a perfect plan, but the intent of the bill and the heartfelt commitment to insure the uninsured is the right approach. I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.

Emphasis added. Of course, the problems related to the individual mandate and bill's small business impact were entirely forseeable. Schultz is unlikely to be the last prominent Obamacare supporter to realize that good intentions don't automatically equate to good policy.

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