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Students, Educators, and School Leaders Fear ObamaCare Consequences

At a recent Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on the effects of ObamaCare on the nation’s education system, witnesses highlighted potential new costs and damaging consequences for schools, colleges, teachers, and students.

One higher education leader testified the law’s punitive mandates could force his institution to increase tuition by as much as 20 percent.

A public school superintendent stated the law’s requirements will pile more than $4.5 million on the local board of education, potentially costing his district 58 teaching positions.

Similar reports about the health care law’s devastating impact continue to surface from school districts and universities nationwide:

New Jersey: New health law puts many N.J. college students in coverage limbo (The Record)
In New Jersey, college students who enrolled this fall were among the first to experience unforeseen changes in the marketplace, with many seeing their annual health insurance costs triple. At community colleges in Bergen and Passaic counties, students lost coverage altogether.

Ohio: Obamacare's part-timer consequence: Limited work hours at colleges, municipalities (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Bowling Green said about 20 adjunct faculty members lost hours, and the university had to hire more part-timers to pick up the load. This also meant that other part-time staffers who were hired originally to lead projects or handle other academic functions could no longer take over a class or two if a vacancy suddenly arose.

Oregon: Oregon schools, get ready for the Cadillac tax (The Oregonian)
The mandates of the Affordable Care Act, once so pleasantly abstract, are raising visceral questions about fairness and affordability. How can Oregon school districts dodge the Cadillac tax in ways that are fair to teachers? How should they structure total compensation to keep the teaching profession attractive? Also, how can they offer good health insurance in ways that are fair to the taxpayers footing most of the bills?

Tennessee: Affordable Care Act could affect teachers' hours in the classroom (WSMV-TV
Classrooms could soon feel a pinch as a result of the Affordable Care Act, [which] requires employers to cover health insurance costs for anybody who works more than 30 hours a week. That includes many substitute teachers. School board officials in Maury County say budgets are tight, and there is never enough money to go around. So, when it comes to offering healthcare for substitute teachers, they say they don't have the money…"Students struggle enough having one substitute teacher, but then now we're going to have to possibly split the substitute time between two substitute teachers. It just makes it tough on the students to learn," [Maury County School Board vice-chairman Tommy Dudley] said.

Texas: Austin Community College to trim some faculty members' hours to avoid health benefits (McClatchy Tribune
Austin Community College plans to reduce hours for some adjunct faculty members… Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, ACC must offer health benefits to an employee who works an average of 30 hours or more per week… Extending health benefits to all is "not a sustainable option."

As Chairman John Kline noted, “At a time when we need to recruit the best teachers, train today’s workers for the jobs of the future, and support school leaders who are trying to do more with less, imposing a fundamentally flawed and costly law on our schools is not in the best interests of students, teachers, parents, or taxpayers.” It’s time the Obama administration recognized the havoc its government takeover of health care is wreaking on American families and joined congressional efforts to reverse the damaging law.

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