Green Room

Academics for ObamaCare stunned to find the cost

posted at 3:31 pm on January 24, 2013 by

Jim Pethokoukis comes up with this delicious bit of schadenfreude from last week’s Wall Street Journal:

The federal health-care overhaul is prompting some colleges and universities to cut the hours of adjunct professors. [...] The Affordable Care Act requires large employers to offer a minimum level of health insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more starting in 2014, or face a penalty. The mandate is a particular challenge for colleges and universities, which increasingly rely on adjuncts to help keep costs down as states have scaled back funding for higher education.

A handful of schools, including Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania and Youngstown State University in Ohio, have curbed the number of classes that adjuncts can teach in the current spring semester to limit the schools’ exposure to the health-insurance requirement.

In response, these professors have turned … spiritual:

The professors are understandably confused. Robert Balla, an adjunct professor of English at Stark State College, in North Canton, Ohio received a letter in which he was told that “in order to avoid penalties under the Affordable Care Act…employees with part-time or adjunct status will not be assigned more than an average of 29 hours per week.” He told the Journal that the move cut his $40,000 salary by about $2,000 and that he cannot afford health insurance.

“I think it goes against the spirit of the [health-care] law,” Mr. Balla said. “In education, we’re working for the public good, we are public employees at a public institution; we should be the first ones to uphold the law, to set the example.”

They are upholding the law, Professor Balla.  I guess you needed to have it passed before you could be bothered to see the obvious implications of what was in it.  Jim delivers a parting shot at the inability to grasp the obvious in this outpost of Academia:

Looks like the academy is finally getting a lesson in the costs of big government liberalism.

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