DENVER — College students overwhelmingly swung for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but they’re now finding their on-campus work hours cut back, thanks to Obamacare.
The latest example comes from the University of Colorado Boulder, where administrators posted an online notice last week informing students that their university-provided employment would be capped at 25 hours per week as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Under Obamacare, employers must provide health insurance coverage to employees working 30 hours or more per week or face fines.
“After the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the campus took the opportunity to examine the number of hours student employees were working per week and has established a policy which sets the maximum number of hours a student employee can work during a bi-weekly pay period,” said the Sept. 30 notice on the university website.
Cutting student work hours is increasingly becoming the standard at universities as they move to comply with the ACA’s rules on insurance coverage, but students aren’t the only ones affected. Adjunct faculty and graduate assistants are also seeing their hours reduced in response, according to Campus Reform.
For example, Campus Reform reported that Middle Tennessee State University has barred both students and part-time employees from taking more than one job on campus.
Investor’s Business Daily maintains a running tally of businesses that have cut their employees’ hours in response to Obamacare, a list that includes more than 100 colleges and universities.
Jonathan Lockwood, Colorado state director for Generation Opportunity, a Koch-affiliated free-market millennial group, released a statement Tuesday blasting the ACA’s employer mandate and taking a swipe at Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, who voted for Obamacare and faces a tough re-election battle.
“As if we needed more proof that Obamacare is dunking young people: CU Boulder has announced that it’s cutting hours for student employees on campus,” Mr. Lockwood said. “The ‘Affordable’ Care Act, which has increased the cost of healthcare for my generation, is also killing our chances at future success here in Colorado. This is what Senator Mark Udall calls a ‘success’?”
A study released Tuesday by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University called the 30-hour cut-off “an explicit tax on full-time work” and predicted a 3 percent drop in weekly per-person employment.
Ryan Huff, spokesman for CU Boulder, said only about 10 percent of students employed on campus would be affected by the change, given that most were already working less than 25 hours a week.
He said Obamcare was “a catalyst to look at our student employment data, but not the sole reason we’re making this move.” Another motivation was to ensure that students’ primary focus remains earning their degree.