Bipartisan Group Wants to Exempt Student-Workers from Obamacare

Isn't everyone else languishing under the effects of Obamacare entitled to exemptions as well?


Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows / U.S. House of Representatives

Some lawmakers want to exempt student-workers from provisions of the Affordable Care Act, out of concern that universities will have to cut students' work hours to prevent them from qualifying for coverage.

I highlighted this issue last week; it's particularly vexing for student-journalists, who often work more than 30 hours a week, especially if they also hold additional campus jobs (like in the bookstore or cafeteria).

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) is proposing legislation to address the problem. His bill, which has attracted support from Republicans, Democrats, and even higher education administrators, would exempt student-workers from the employer mandate:

Under the ACA—commonly referred to as Obamacare— colleges and universities will soon be required to provide health insurance for student employees who work more than 30 hours a week for 3 months or more, including summer breaks. Due to this new requirement, many schools will be forced to cut student jobs.

"This provision in the ACA will be extremely costly to colleges and universities, forcing many to cut student workers," Rep. Meadows said. "At a time when tuition costs are constantly rising and student loan debt has hit a record high at $1.08 trillion, on-campus employment opportunities are relied on by students across the country to help pay the cost of their tuition."

"This bill will prevent colleges and universities from having to cut student work hours under the ACA and will allow students to continue to support themselves and their educational aspirations," Meadows said.

That's all well and good, though I can't help but wonder: Isn't everyone else languishing under the effects of Obamacare entitled to exemptions as well?

Hat tip: Inside Higher Ed

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  1. A law so wonderful that it needs countless delays and exemptions!

    1. I’d like to exempt all citizens from this law. For, let’s say, 100 years.

  2. I’m surprised the Gov’t still allows students to work.

    1. Aren’t they trying to kill that? Both in trying to increase the minimum wage well past the value of such workers and in trying to kill internship programs?

  3. Aaand, here comes the Stupid Party, determined to make damn good and sure the Evil Party doesn’t get all the blame for the epic clusterfuck that is ObamaCare.

    Having thrown away a golden opportunity to make electoral hay out of ObamaCare during the last Presidential election, they appear to be determined to make sure that the worst legislation enacted in a very long time doesn’t have any adverse electoral consequences for their colleagues in TEAM BE RULED.

    1. I wasnt thinking that specifically, but the idea is the same. MAKE IT APPLY TO EVERYONE.

      You think student journalists werent amongst the biggest supporters of this shit?

    2. The Stupid Party, once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    3. Or they’re baiting Obama so he defends the idea of screwing over students.

  4. Nope. Fuck that. No exemptions. Everybody gets to experience the glory of Obamacare together.

    In fact, if I had my druthers, I’d add a Constitutional amendment that prohibits Congress from passing laws that do not apply equally to everyone under its jurisdiction. You want to ban magazines with more than ten rounds? That goes for cops too. TSA Rapescanners for commercial air passengers? Also for Air Force One. You want to ban gay marriage? Say goodbye to straight marriage.

    1. I agree, Hugh. If Congress ever passes a law banning gay marriage, they should just cut to the chase and ban all marriage.

      Even if they didn’t ban marriage, but just government licensing of marriage, I would feel the same way.

    2. Thank you Hugh. You forgot condoms. If pornstars wear them everyone wears them. I have one right now.

      1. Condoms, ruining porn one rubber at a time

    3. You want to ban gay marriage? Say goodbye to straight marriage.

      As MM said, add the word licensing in there and I fail to see the problem. That is exactly what Ive been arguing for for a 1/4 century.

      1. Agreed. How about the ‘Goodbye to State Licensed Marriage Period’ act, and leave domestic contracts to the people who engage in them, without state interference. Both parties can sign a type of contract, call it a prenup or whatever, if they want to. Otherwise someone winds up getting sued and screwed over by the courts.

        My wife and I have a simple verbal agreement. She told me ‘If I ever decide to leave you, I don’t want anything except my stuff and those canisters with the mushrooms on them that we put rice and sugar and stuff in’. And I was like ‘ok’. So that was easy.

        1. My wife and I have a simple verbal agreement.

          Me, too. If I ever decide to leave her, I should make sure I am across an international border first.

          1. If my wife leaves me, she’ll make haste for an international border, so I don’t have to go anywhere. I’m sort of jealous about that fact.

        2. and those canisters with the mushrooms on them that we put rice and sugar and stuff in

          From. My. Cold. Dead. Hands.

    4. Say goodbye to straight marriage

      Where were you 20 years ago when I needed this advice?

      1. Almost no one learns that lesson the first time around. You need to learn it by the 3rd time, or you’re retarded, and probably broke working 3 jobs and living under a bridge.

        1. Actually I did learn it the first time around. Divorced in ’97 and never did it again. Never fell into the “triumph of hope over experience” trap. I’m just one of those people who’s probably better off single.

          1. I actually meant before the first time around ended. I didn’t learn, I’m on the 3rd time around, but I did learn a hell of a lot ‘after’ the 2nd time. Some of us are slow learners.

  5. Wait, mandated provision of health care is expensive and leads to job losses? I wish they’d mentioned this before the bill was passed.

    1. Its an unintended consequence, so its all good.

    2. …”I wish they’d mentioned this before the bill was passed.”

      Well, they didn’t know what was in it before they passed it.

      1. I’ve read it, and to be fair it’s really long and boring. Could really use a good sex scene or a zombie attack somewhere around Title III-section 3111 Payment for bone density tests if anyone was expected to read it prior to voting.

  6. Has anyone seen my shocked face? I can’t find it anywhere.

  7. I have an idea. How about one BIG GIANT FUCKING exemption that exempts everyone from this POS and we start all over again?

    Nah, too much cronyism and control gems hidden in all of those pages, right Team Purple?

    1. Nah, just exempt everyone who opposed it.

      Anyone who supported it should have to live by it. For just a few years, until they confess their error.

      1. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  8. Sounds like a very good plan to me dude.


    1. I knew you weren’t a real libertarian, Anon-bot. I just knew it.

  9. That’s all well and good, though I can’t help but wonder: Isn’t everyone else languishing under the effects of Obamacare entitled to exemptions as well?

    No, it’s differetn! Cuz corporations only don’t want to support their workers cuz it will come out of their profits! But colleges and universities are non-profits, so they need an exemption.


    1. What about for-profit colleges?

      1. You mean Exploitation U?? They should shut those down!!

  10. Slave driving universities. Fuck them.

  11. This is an idea that should be fought vigorously and with machine guns.

    The gall of the people who gave us this law – based on the premise that everybody deserves access to healthcare and providing that access would lower costs for everybody, that only greedy employers would be heartless enough to argue that the law would cost them money or cause them to cut employees, hours, and pay – now wanting to exempt public employees from the law based on the premise that it would cost too much money and cause employers to cut employees, hours, and pay and that that cost outweighs the benefits of providing access to healthcare for those poor, wretched public employees.

    Fuck ’em. You wanted the law, you’re going to get the law, good and hard.

  12. Of course the net effect of this is that student workers will have to buy coverage through the exchanges.

    Something this wouldn’t have had to do as recently as last year, since most schools offered health plans for a decent price to students.

    But schools are cutting that out now, because students can stay on their parents plans until 26.

    However, this leaves in the lurch kids that don’t have parents, or don’t have parents who can provide them with coverage. These tend to be largely the poorest students. Incidentally the same kids who are most likely to need to work while in school.

    This really demonstrates the problem of having a one-size-fits-all system. There are all sorts of people out there who don’t fit the norm in all sorts of ways, and end up not fitting into any of this jury-rigged system’s little corners. Foster kids, orphans, poor kids with unemployed parents. Sure, they aren’t the norm among college students. But white middle-class kids whose parents can keep them on their plans are the least likely to need to save their money for tuition, or work a part-time job in between classes.

    1. Indeed. But the Democratic Party is now run by the (sort of) grown-up versions of middle-class white kids who spent the ’70s-’80s hating the US and thinking socialism was a cure-all. For all their blather about The Poor and Disadvantaged, they are usually oblivious to the devastation their policies cause.

  13. It’s not just students. Part time instructors are having their courses cut as well, for the same reason. We are having to be extra careful because so far nobody can tell us (a) how many hours per week a (for instance) 3 credit course counts for, or (b) how the hours per week are supposed to be averaged, if at all, over the course of some period of time. Part time faculty–and students–may work lots of hours in one term and few or none the next. Do we use the average over fall and spring? Does summer get included, or not?

    These are all details, of course, and the whole proposal is just special pleading. There really is no good reason why colleges should be exempt and other employers not…they face the same problems.

  14. This law seems a little out of place to me. I mean what’s the problem with students having part-time job. Well, of course if they manage to keep up with studies. Moreover, not every and each of them has wealthy parent to pay their bills, so they need these jobs to make their living. My fellow student used professional resume writing for money and got a decent part-time job, yet she is still one of the best when it comes to studies. So I guess this law is a little unfair and needs to consider each student’s situation.

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