"We had meetings with different Starbucks people at different levels of the company, open discussions and I said to them very openly and honestly, 'I'm not going to cut the health care benefit on any level, but I need more participation from our employees, what do you think is fair?'" Schultz said. "And collectively, we made this decision based on a consensus of what we could ask our people to do and our people, almost 100 percent, thank us. We explained it very openly with transparency, we have to ask for a little bit of participation, it wasn't a big number but we are keeping the benefit."
With President Obama's health care bill now the law of the land, Schultz said the changes will be a wash for Starbucks, since it already provides health insurance to employees, but will likely benefit in the long term.
"I've always believed that there was a cost shift in the system that as a result of the uninsured people who are doing the right thing like Starbucks and there are many other companies were paying more as a result of those people having to go into emergency. So I think over time that will be a benefit to the overall cost structure."