Indiana News

Congressman Wants To Exempt Schools From Obamacare

Messer says bill would help prevent schools from cutting employee hours


Rep. Luke Messer (R - Indiana) (Office of Congressman Luke Messer)

While every prior effort to repeal President Obama's health care reform measure has failed, one Indiana congressman believes that cutbacks recently announced by school districts should lead to them being exempted from part of the law's mandate.

Listen to Ray Steele's interview with Congressman Luke Messer:

Republican Congressman Luke Messer says he will introduce a bill that would shield public school systems from the insurance mandates and penalties in the Affordable Care Act.  Messer says he informed Education Secretary Arne Duncan of his intention during a meeting this morning.

“It is unconscionable that the Federal government is taxing schools to help pay for the President’s health care law,” said Messer, whose legislation would allow local school districts to continue providing health care to their employees as they currently do without penalties.

Many school systems recently announced they were reducing the hours of many employees, even those who are not full-time such as substitute teachers, teacher's aides and coaches. Many school officials said they were doing so in order to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs they would have faced had they been forced to offer health insurance to any employee working more than 30 hours per week.

“The issue lies in how educational organizations will calculate hours worked during this standard measurement period since they may be prohibited from including actual hours of service worked by school employees during educational breaks,” said Shelbyville Central Schools Superintendent Dave Adams.

Messer has long opposed all aspects of Obamacare, but says he believes his measure is one that Democrats can get behind, given the Democratic Party's close ties to teachers unions.



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