If the tax is repealed it could mean diminished subsidies for the uninsured—one of the pillars of the ACA. For instance, consider a family of four. Obamacare currently will help them—at least to some extent—if their income is 400 percent or less of the poverty level, or about $92,000. If this tax is repealed, help might instead be limited to 300 percent of the poverty level, or about $69,000 for a family of four.

Since so many restaurant workers are without health insurance coverage, this Papa John’s flap touches on their well-being in many ways. Schnatter talks about cuts in wages and hours. But repealing the tax and potentially threatening Obamacare subsides meant to help such employees get health insurance—that matters too.

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How an anti-tax HIT squad employs the press

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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.