MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (CBS DC/AP) — Alabama schools could face a shortage of substitute teachers due to Obamacare.
Marshall County School Superintendent Tim Nabors tells WHNT-TV that the Affordable Care Act – President Barack Obama’s signature health care law — could place a burden on schools next school year due to the law stating that employers need to provide health insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours a week.
“When they can only work so many hours a week, it puts an even bigger burden on us,” Nabors stated. “If those subs — if we have to have them, they work over that — we either have to offer them insurance or have to pay a fine, which of course hurts us.”
Nabors said that the school district is already cash-strapped and would not be able to afford to pay for substitutes’ health insurance.
“If you have maternity leaves or if you’ve got someone that’s sick and has to be out an extended period of time, you don’t want to bring two different teachers in,” Nabors told WHNT.
Nabors said that they don’t have a plan as of yet to combat the potential problem.
As Alabama schools deal with a possible substitute shortage, the White House is trying to get millions more to sign up for Obamacare.
Less than two months before the March 31 sign-up deadline, the Obama administration is lagging behind in meeting its goal. Young adults made up about one-fourth of the 2.2 million people who enrolled in the exchanges through December, the last time the administration released demographic data.
Officials announced in mid-January that 3 million people had enrolled in insurance plans, but officials didn’t update demographic details.
Critics of the law say young people were most likely to be turned off by the technical problems that marred the first two months of online sign-ups. They also say some young people will opt to pay the penalty for not enrolling — $95, or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher — rather than pay more for coverage.
White House officials have minimized the slow enrollment by young people, saying they always expected those in their 20s and 30s to enroll toward the end of the sign-up period.
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