Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

School Districts Join Indiana Attorney General In Challenge To Federal Health Care Law

    Attorney General Greg Zoeller (left) and State Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon, speak at a Thursday news conference unveiling a proposed state grant program designed to put more police officers into Indiana schools.

    Brandon Smith / IPBS

    Attorney General Greg Zoeller (left) in a file photo with Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon.

    Indiana’s attorney general and 15 school districts from across the state filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday challenging the law that’s imposed sweeping new changes on the nation’s health care system, WFYI’s Sam Klemet reports.

    The lawsuit takes aim at what Attorney General Greg Zoeller calls the law’s “costly and burdensome” mandate that all employers of a certain size provide affordable health insurance coverage to its workers or face tax penalties. More from Klemet:

    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.

    Here are the school corporations challenging the law, per the state’s attorney general:

    • Metropolitan School District of Martinsville, Martinsville, Ind.
    • Perry Central Community Schools, Leopold, Ind.
    • Benton Community School Corporation, Fowler, Ind.
    • Community School Corporation of Eastern Hancock County, Charlottesville, Ind.
    • John Glenn School Corporation, Walkerton, Ind.
    • Monroe-Gregg School District, Monrovia, Ind.
    • Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation, Mooresville, Ind.
    • North Lawrence Community Schools, Bedford, Ind.
    • Northwestern Consolidated School District of Shelby County, Fairland, Ind.
    • Shelbyville Central Schools, Shelbyville, Ind.
    • Southwest Parke Community School Corporation, Montezuma, Ind.
    • Vincennes Community School Corporation, Vincennes, Ind.
    • Madison Consolidated Schools, Madison, Ind.
    • South Henry School Corporation, Straughn, Ind.
    • Southwestern Jefferson County Consolidated School Corporation, Hanover, Ind.


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