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Thune Reintroduces Bill to Offer ObamaCare Relief to Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Bill would shield schools from employer mandate, help save jobs and cut costs for students

February 12, 2015

Washington, D.C. — 

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced legislation to help America’s students by exempting schools, colleges, and universities from the ObamaCare employer mandate, which is already cutting education jobs and driving up tuition costs across the country.

“School budgets should enhance students’ educations—not pay for the president’s health care law,” said Thune. “ObamaCare’s employer mandate is not only destroying jobs in the education system, but it also continues to drive up tuition prices for students suffering in the sluggish Obama economy. I hope my colleagues will join me in putting teachers and students first by supporting my bill to prevent tuition increases and job loss due to ObamaCare and help our country’s K-12 schools and universities provide high quality education.”

According to reports, some schools across the country are eliminating teaching positions and others are reducing the number of hours teachers and staff can work in order to comply with the health care law’s 30-hour work week. In addition to jobs lost, the law includes higher prices for government-approved health care plans. These higher costs for colleges and universities are inevitability passed along to students in the form of higher tuition prices.

According to one witness who testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce last Congress, his university was contemplating tuition increases of nearly 20 percent due to the increased costs and mandates associated with ObamaCare. In K-12 education systems, these costs cannot be passed along to students in the form of higher tuition, but will be absorbed by eliminating teacher positions or cutting funding for extracurricular activities.

Thune’s bill is cosponsored by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Thune’s bill is endorsed by the South Dakota Associated Schools Boards and the School Administrators of South Dakota