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Indiana Public Schools Join The State In Lawsuit Over ACA

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Photo: Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana

To avoid penalties under the ACA, some public school corporations in Indiana have reduced the hours of certain employees including: instructional aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, substitute teachers and other part-time employees

Fifteen public schools are joining the state in suing the IRS and other federal agencies over the Affordable Care Act. The suit stems from the employee mandate portion of the law.

Jim Hamilton of the Indianapolis Law Firm Bose, McKinney, and Evans, which is representing the schools, says the suit challenges the authority of the federal government to impose the mandate on the State and public school corporations.

“As a result of the employer mandate public schools throughout the state of Indiana have to reduce employee hours for certain specified employees to under 30 hours per week to avoid very significant penalties under the Affordable Care Act,” Hamilton says.

The law calls for penalties on employers that fail to provide health insurance if they have 50 or more employees working 30 or more hours per week.

Indiana House Minority Leader Democrat Scott Pelath says the law isn’t perfect, but it’s important to focus on the overall goal.

“We can’t get so far down in the weeds that we lose sight of the important things in the Affordable Care Act and that is making sure that everyone is a participant in the health care system, because whether they have insurance or not, they are. We have to be able to make sure that we are a healthier nation because people can go to the doctor and not the emergency room. And also that our middle class isn’t going bankrupt by exploding health care costs,” Pelath says.

Republican State Senator Jim Merritt believes that the lawsuit points to the ongoing concern with the law.

“It appears to me that people are still confused. People don’t know exactly how this is all going to be ironed out. And it is such a large large piece of legislation and large law that it may be some time before everybody understands exactly what it’s all about,” Merritt says.

The employer mandate was delayed for a year and is scheduled to take effect in 2015.

The School Corporations included in the suit:

• 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

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