Separation between shopping and politics? Nope

Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM ET

President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul the health care system has some executives complaining that the additional health care requirements will cost their companies dearly.

The complaints themselves could end up costing the companies as well.

A Life Inc. post this week took a look at the brand perception beating that Papa John's, Applebee's and Denny's took in the wake of comments executives at those companies made about the possible effect of Obamacare on their business plans.

All three companies’ reputations suffered as a result of negative comments, according to research by YouGov BrandIndex, although Denny’s has since rebounded.

That may not be too surprising. Nearly 90 percent of the more than 26,000 people who took our online poll said that they take their business elsewhere when a CEO makes a comment they don’t agree with.

Most readers said they had very little sympathy for the executives who had complained about the costs of Obama’s health care plan overhaul.

 “There was a point in time when you could count on your employer to provide benefits for working for them. We have come so far away from that point, so rich CEOs can continue to get a pay increase each year and a kid with recurring strep throat can cost a family so much that they have to choose whether to get their child medical care or pay rent this month. No sympathy for these companies moaning and wailing that they will lose some money because they have to be forced to do the right thing,” one reader wrote.

Another reader said they thought the companies would ultimately suffer from their executives’ comments.

“If these companies did the right thing in the first place, Obamacare never would have been necessary. As far as I am concerned they can just go ahead and stop building new restaurants. Some new business will come along and take their place. It's called capitalism,” the reader wrote.

Still, others questioned whether people would really put their money where their mouths are, especially when their tummies started rumbling.

“Sitting here eating a Papa John's Pizza. Interesting article. There were 8 people in line ahead of me to pick up their order... I don't think sales have been hurt that much. Pizza tastes the same... MMMM, mmmmm, GOOOOOD!!!” one reader wrote.