Colleges Slashing Professor Hours Because Of Obamacare

40 hour work week

What’s ironic is that I’m guessing most of the people now getting their hours slashed were big proponents of the Affordable Care Act:

Many colleges are cutting back on the number of hours worked by adjunct professors, in order to avoid new requirements that they provide healthcare to anyone working over 30 hours per week. This is terrible news for a lot of people; 70 percent of professors work as adjuncts and many will now have to cope with a major pay cut just as requirements that they buy their own health insurance go into effect. …

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen serious unintended consequences from Obamacare, and it’s unlikely to be the last. It’s already become painfully obvious that the law’s creators failed to think through its full implications.

But beyond alerting us to one of the many problems that implementing Obamacare will cause, this news provides a depressing look at the underbelly of the academy. Universities are citadels of blue model thinking and most faculty members are relentlessly liberal in their politics. But the reality is that these same universities are some of the nastiest and most exploitative employers in America. The exploitation of adjuncts is an ugly feature of contemporary American academic life, and the smug complacency about it among many beneficiaries of the two tier system should remind us all that moral hypocrisy can co-exist with impressive degrees.

So not only is Obamacare driving up the cost of health insurance, but it’s also causing a serious decline in income for many Americans.

Whoever named this thing the “Affordable Care Act” had quite the sense of humor.

Truth be told, I wonder if this reduction in hours worked wasn’t intentional. A shorter work week has long been an agenda item for the far-left and labor movements, and it appears they may be getting that. By setting the threshold for mandatory health insurance coverage at 30 hours, Obamacare has provided a big incentive for employers to cut back hours. That threshold was 40 hours a week, beyond which employers were obligated to pay additional costs such as overtime.

Now 30 hours a week may be the new limit, especially with the cost of providing health insurance going through the roof.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • SigFan

    For the professors that voted for and support Obama – you get what you deserve. Even those who are not liberal (far too few) are going to be hurt by this though and as we see this trend spread into other industries many more people who neither wanted or deserve this are going to get hurt. But, Obama got his first step to nationalized health care through, we’ll be a single-payer country before you know it. So to the liberals it’s all worth it.

    • VocalYokel

      No sacrifice is too great for those who don’t have to make it themselves.

  • Edd

    Another way to look at it cynically, is maybe they want a 30 work week, that way you need more people to get the job done in a week. With high unemployment it’s one way to higher more people into the work force, and on the corporate side they just reduced paying most of their benefit costs and just pay the fine. Also how many companies will trim back employes to get under the required limit of providing. If you were 10 over, just cut them and adjust.

    • Rob

      The problem with reducing the productivity of workers by mandate is that you drive up the cost of goods and services.

      No matter how this works out, we lose.

  • Matthew Hawkins

    The definition of adjunct professor is part time professor. They shouldn’t be working full time.

    • Rob

      That might have been the definition once up a time, but that’s not the reality now.

      And even if you were right, it still doesn’t change the fact that there is a national trend in full time employees getting their hours cut because of Obamacare.

      • Matthew Hawkins

        Full time employees have to have there insurance paid for. That has been the rule for a long time.

        You are not complaining about full time workers having there hours cut. You are complaining that businesses are no longer able to work part time workers full time hours.

  • Kevin Flanagan

    That’s the way karma works.

  • ec99

    The article neither specifies states nor colleges. The fact is adjuncts are paid either by the credit or the course, not by the hour. In most places they are not eligible for any benefits.

  • slackwarerobert

    I thought teachers were paid by obama, why would he do this to his own employees over his own law? sucks to be stupid, get a real education and buy a gun.

  • Random Passerby

    Many moons ago, on a faraway thread here, I had mentioned Obamacare was likely an attempt at social engineering. It’s clearly having a social engineering effect…now the question is, to me, for what purpose is it all set to? (aside from the obvious)