Monday, February 27, 2012

Unexpected consequences: Obamacare is raising vending machine costs in Massachusetts


Under new rules expected to be implemented because of Obamacare, states will have to check vending machines to make sure the calorie count is displayed. The state of Massachusetts is already raising fees for the new inspectors. Your Twinkie is going to cost more.

The Patrick administration is pitching a staggering 500-plus percent hike in vending machine license fees — in part to meet Obama-care rules that haven’t even been written yet, the Herald has learned.

The state Department of Public Health wants to boost annual fees by 567 percent, from $3 to $20, on thousands of vending machines across the commonwealth — a move that is already pushing the wrong buttons with snack peddlers and critics of mandated health care.

Stoughton’s Next Generation Vending, the state’s biggest vending company with about 7,000 machines, would see its annual fees skyrocket from $21,000 to $140,000.[...]

Suzanne Condon, director of DPH’s Bureau of Environmental Health, said the proposed $20 fee is in line with other states, and argued it’s only “appropriate” to tap the industry to pay for its added duties under the federal Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s 2010 health-care overhaul, as well as new state rules banning sugary and fatty snacks in schools.

“The increase is primarily to support the inspectional staff that will need to focus efforts on carrying out inspections across the commonwealth,” Condon added.

Another reason, she said, is that under Obamacare rules that have not yet been finalized, vending machines will likely need to display calorie counts and other nutritional information on the outside of each machine. Keep on reading...

1 comment:

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