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Not the change we asked for

This is not the kind of story you are looking for.

I am a supporter of Health Care Reform, but the compromises forced on the reform bill by conservatives, who finally did not vote for the watered-down bill, have had devastating effects for some.

Last week I received the following memo from my employer (a community college):

"A provision in the recent health care reform legislation requires that insurance benefits be provided to any employee who regularly works 30 or more hours per week. Accordingly, I recommend that our part-time staff employment limits . . . be revised as follows:

" . . .

"Administrative Guidelines for Employment of Part-Time Staff

". . .

"A. Support Staff..............................20/Hhr/wk

"B. Instructors..................................[changed from] 12 [to] 10 Contact Hours

". . .

"The maximum limits for part-time employees will be:

A. Support Staff...............................[changed from] 30 [to] 25 Hrs/wk

B. Instructors...................................[changed from] 12 [to] 10 Contact Hours

"These limits apply to the total weekly hours worked by an employee. Hours worked as an instructor will count toward these limits based on contact hours per week. For purposes of calculating the limits for instructors, clinical hours will be included at 50%."

The result of this policy change, based on a provision in the Health Reform Law, is that my employer, rather than have to pay for health insurance for part-time employees, is merely cutting back their hours.

This was not the intention of the bill, but the weakened bill left loopholes that employers can use as a cudgel against their employees.

—LarryMichigan
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