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Rep. Messer Introduces Bill to Protect Classrooms from ObamaCare’s Punitive Employer Mandate

House Education and the Workforce Committee Member Luke Messer (R-IN) today introduced legislation in response to the challenges facing schools as the result of the president’s health care law. The Safeguarding Classrooms Hurt by ObamaCare’s Obligatory Levies (SCHOOL) Act (H.R. 4775) would exempt schools, colleges, and universities from the health care law’s employer mandate.

“At a time when school systems across the country are strapped for cash, it is not fair to pay for the president's health care law on the backs of our students and teachers,” said Rep. Messer. “If we really care about our kids and their education, we will do something about it. This bill will stop the harmful ObamaCare tax on school districts, save jobs, and ensure more money is left in school budgets for teacher development and student learning.”

“Too often Washington forgets that federal policies unrelated to education can still burden our nation’s classrooms,” said Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN). “The president’s health care law is a prime example. We shouldn’t stand by while this fatally-flawed law makes it more difficult for teachers, administrators, and higher education leaders to provide students the quality education they deserve. I want to thank Representative Messer for his leadership on this important issue and urge all my colleagues to put students first by supporting the SCHOOL Act.”

Through news articles, hearing testimony, and feedback from education stakeholders, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce continues to learn about ObamaCare’s consequences for the nation’s education system. One witness at an oversight hearing noted the health care law will lead to $4.6 million in new costs for his K-12 school district potentially costing 58 teaching positions. Another testified the law may force his university to increase tuition by 20 percent. Helieanna from Minnesota told the committee through its #YourStory initiative that her teaching load was cut, meaning “a difference of thousands of dollars in my paycheck.”

To help protect administrators, teachers, and students from the negative effects of the health care law, the SCHOOL Act:
  • Exempts K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and state and local educational agencies from the requirements of the health care law’s employer mandate.
  • Requires the secretary of education to evaluate the impact of the SCHOOL Act on schools’ ability to meet the educational needs of low-income students and institutions’ ability to maintain current academic opportunities.
To read a fact sheet, click here.

To read the text of H.R. 4775, click here.


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