Professors Suddenly Don't Like ObamaCare Either
Posted 06/27/2014 06:49 PM ET
Health Reform: After years of singing the praises of universal health care, college professors are now shocked at how badly it has turned out — for them.
Adjunct professors are steamed at the way their employers are interpreting the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate, which forces them to cover full-time but not part-time workers. Typical of liberals, they blame their employers instead of the job-killing law they supported.
Starting Jan. 1, ObamaCare makes employers offer all full-time workers health insurance or pay a fine. In response, hundreds of colleges have simply cut instructors' course loads to dodge coverage. Others are thinking about laying off untenured faculty by the thousands.
Take the University of North Carolina state system.
Faced with $47 million-a-year unfunded ObamaCare liability, the 17-campus system has asked the state for the OK to create its own health program. It says it can't afford to pay its 8,586 non-permanent workers ObamaCare's essential benefits package, at $5,400 a pop.
The jobs of graduate and teaching assistants, visiting professors and student employees are on the block. The other option is raising tuition, but President Obama is cracking down on colleges over student debt.
"This is an unfunded mandate that's coming down on us," UNC System COO Charlie Perusse complained. No kidding. Belatedly, academia is waking up to the business realities of ObamaCare.
Most colleges rely heavily on adjuncts, who're hired on a contractual basis rather than being tenured in a permanent position. But ObamaCare removes that cost savings by forcing colleges to offer generous health-care benefits for them if they teach more than 29 hours a week.
Colorado Mountain College employs 600 adjuncts at a relative bargain. Though it has six times more adjuncts on staff than full-time professors, they absorb half the budget of full-timers. But now it also is having to cut adjuncts to avoid being hammered by ObamaCare.
The American Association of University Professors says it's "dismayed" by the ObamaCare-tied cutbacks, calling them "reprehensible." A Stark State College adjunct professor facing cuts at his Ohio institution whines that it should cover part-time workers, too. "It goes against the spirit of the law," says the English prof.
Complained another adjunct: "The university canceled one of my courses. The reason was to avoid having to give me any benefits due to the Affordable Care Act."
Welcome to the real world.
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