Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

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February 7, 2013

Messer highlights impacts of Obamacare on local schools

Greensburg — During a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, of which he is a member, Congressman Luke Messer raised the potential impact on schools of mandates and penalties in the President’s health care law.

“The numerous insurance mandates and hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on employers also are creating serious challenges for schools that could impact classroom instruction,” he said following the committee hearing examining challenges and opportunities facing America’s schools and workforce.

Congressman Messer recently spoke with Superintendent of Shelbyville Central Schools, Dave Adams, who told him that the insurance mandates and financial penalties in the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, could cost the school system nearly $800,000 next year alone, potentially leading to reduced hours for some employees because of the way schools may be required to calculate who qualifies as a full-time employee for penalty purposes under the law.

“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. “I appreciate Congressman Messer’s work to address this important issue for our local schools and communities.”

During the hearing, Messer questioned the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Laura Fornash, about the impact of the law in that state, noting that “schools are strapped for cash” and that the law is “one more challenge being piled” on them.

Following the hearing, Messer added that “it is unconscionable that the Federal government will be taxing schools and employers to the point where student instruction may suffer, jobs may be lost, and hours may be limited simply to pay for the President’s health care law.”

Messer intends to continue examining this issue to determine whether schools can be held harmless from the law’s impact. He has cosponsored legislation (H.R. 45) that would repeal the health care law entirely.

— Daily News

 

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