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Continued: Rep. Kline says health care law will undermine education

  • Article by: COREY MITCHELL , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 29, 2013 - 10:28 PM

The employer mandate could affect the health care costs for nearly 5,000 employees, primarily adjunct faculty, in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

“Determining that impact has been a challenge because the dust has not yet settled on the path forward for the ACA rollout,” said Doug Anderson, the director of communications for the state college system.

University of Minnesota officials declined to comment, citing union contracts related to the health law set to be reviewed by the Board of Regents in December.

Fight to the finish

The aftermath of the federal shutdown left Republicans and their poll numbers reeling. A coordinated effort to keep the health care law’s problems on the front burner is part of the GOP strategy to bounce back.

Legislation highlighting the troubles is emerging from several committees, although with the chamber set to adjourn for holiday recess on Dec. 13, there may not be enough time left on the House calendar.

House Republicans have voted more than 40 times to repeal or defund the act, a vast overhaul of federal health care laws.

The law requires U.S. citizens to carry federally approved health insurance policies, but many also will get tax subsidies to help with costs. The law forbids insurance companies from discriminating against applicants based on pre-existing conditions or gender, allows parents to cover their children on their policies until age 26 and eliminates the lifetime coverage caps that were part of some plans.

‘Unanswered questions’

To avoid the perception that they’re taking yet another crack at defunding the law, committee leaders are narrowing their scope this time around.

“We must be mindful that federal policies unrelated to education can still burden classrooms,” Kline said.

Congressional Democrats are unearthing their own anecdotes to counter Republican attacks, but House Republicans predict further flaws and delays will emerge as the health care law rollout continues.

“There are so many unanswered questions at the federal level,” said Superintendent Daniel Bittman of the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District near St. Cloud.

“We absolutely support the idea and the intent of the law, but for school districts it creates an absolute challenge,” he said.

Corey Mitchell is a correspondent in the Star Tribune Washington Bureau. Twitter: @C_C_Mitchell



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