Fifteen Indiana school districts and the State of Indiana filed a lawsuit involving the Affordable Care Act.
From Fox 59 –
The lawsuit revolves around the ACA’s mandate that employers provide health insurance to all employees who work more than 30 hours per week. According to the lawsuit, the Affordable Care Act will impose significant penalties on employers who fail to provide all of their full-time workers with affordable, minimum coverage. The state and schools said the penalties would result in “catastrophic financial consequences for Indiana public school corporations.”
To avoid those repercussions, school districts have reduced the hours for non-benefit eligible employees like bus drivers, instructional aides, cafeteria workers and substitute teachers. Schools said the long-term effects of these reduced hours will have a “long-term detrimental impact” on the education of Hoosier students.
The lawsuit challenges new IRS regulations involving the ACA. It also questions the authority of the federal government to impose the employer mandate on the State of Indiana and its public schools.
The following school districts are involved in the lawsuit:
- Benton Community School Corporation
- Community School Corporation of Eastern Hancock County
- John Glenn School Corporation
- Madison Consolidated Schools
- Metropolitan School District of Martinsville
- Monroe-Gregg School District
- Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation
- North Lawrence Community Schools
- Northwestern Consolidated School District of Shelby County
- Perry Central Community Schools
- Shelbyville Central Schools
- South Henry School Corporation
- Southwest Parke Community School Corporation
- Southwestern Jefferson County Consolidated School Corporation
- Vincennes Community School Corporation
Some of the key issues include:
- The school districts claim they provide generous health-care benefits for most full-time permanent employees. In Indiana, the longtime personnel policy defines state employees as full time and eligible for insurance benefits if they work at least 37.5 hours a week.
- The districts are faced with a choice. They can provide insurance or they can cut employee hours to under 30 and thus avoid not only the insurance mandate but also an IRS regulation that essentially fines any employer $2,000 per employee for failing to comply with the act.
- That regulation was improper, the lawsuit contends, because it exceeded authority Congress granted the agency and interfered with the state’s ability to manage its own employees.
- “School districts don’t want to pay a guy who works less than 37.5 hours a week health insurance,” said state Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis. “So in order to save that little bit of money, they’re going to deprive 400,000 people of subsidies to buy health insurance.”
- Some law experts said they doubted that the lawsuit would succeed. Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, said the Supreme Court’s decision was clear that the federal government can regulate state employees under laws that apply to employers generally.