Grad students, faculty support new federal action on health care subsidies

9 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, October 25 2016 Oct 25, 2016 Tuesday, October 25, 2016 3:23:00 PM CDT October 25, 2016 in News
By: Chris Joseph and Zack Newman, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

COLUMBIA — Leaders of both faculty and graduate students responded positively on Tuesday to recently issued federal health care recommendations on graduate student health care subsidies.

The recommendations from the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury indefinitely remove the possibility that MU would be fined by the federal government for providing graduate students with health care subsidies. 

"I'm happy because I get to keep my health insurance, but at the same time I would like a stronger guarantee than what we've got," said Eric Scott, co-chair of the Coalition of Graduate Workers.

Scott is concerned that an equal and opposite set of recommendations could undo the extension. A permanent fix in the form of legislative change would end the uncertainty. 

Ben Trachtenberg, chair of the MU Faculty Council said, “Nothing’s stopping us from coming up with something better if we can, but at least we’re not under the gun of a threat of some federal fine.” 

The recommendations came as a relief to Trachtenberg, who said the inability to ensure health care coverage was crippling the university's recruiting efforts.  

MU has been providing the graduate students with health care subsidies without the possibility of federal fines since February 2016, when the IRS and Labor Department announced they would not enforce their 2013 interpretation of the Affordable Care Act, which made such a practice illegal.  The announcement said the interpretation would not be enforced for one "plan year" beginning before January 1, 2017.  MU Spokesperson Christian Basi believes the subsidies would have run through the spring 2017 semester.  The recent federal recommendations extend that period indefinitely.  

In August 2015, former MU Chancellor Bowen Loftin announced MU would resume providing the health care benefits to the graduate workers despite the risk of federal fines, after services had been ended earlier that month.

Graduate students responded by protesting and voting to unionize in April. The university did not acknowledge the union, and the graduate students sued MU in the Boone County Circuit Court for recognition in May. The motion hearing is set for Nov. 21.   

Despite the legal proceedings, the conversation on graduate student health care will continue. 

Basi emailed KOMU 8 News saying, "the secondary extension has allowed the university the time and ability to work toward identifying a permanent quality, affordable, health coverage solution for our graduate students looking forward." 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
FERRELVIEW (AP) — A member of a small western Missouri town's governing board is leading an effort to oust the... More >>
18 minutes ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 10:20:36 AM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
CUBA (AP) — Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is holding another round of town halls in rural, Republican strongholds as... More >>
42 minutes ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 9:56:21 AM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – In preparation for a large number of visitors to Missouri for Monday's solar eclipse, the State Emergency... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 11:49:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The incoming freshmen at Blair Oaks High School will become the first class to not have a... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 8:59:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Angela Speck, the director of astronomy at the University of Missouri, gave a presentation titled, "Doing Science in... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:36:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
PIKE COUNTY, Mo. - A man was charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action after Alexander Koch died... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - With mid-Missouri preparing for the upcoming eclipse on Monday, Laws Observatory played host to an event made to... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:18:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former school bus driver in eastern Missouri has been sentenced to 20 years in prison... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:58:58 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the eclipse nearly here, crews in Jefferson City were busy preparing for festivities Saturday. On... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in Eclipse Planning
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Confederate memorial in Kansas City was vandalized with graffiti overnight. Local media show someone... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 12:41:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's child abuse hotline now accepts out-of-state calls. First lady Sheena Greitens said she learned... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 11:06:17 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri will host and sponsor numerous events this weekend leading up to Monday’s total solar... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:58:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
CHAFFEE (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing murder conspiracy charges for allegedly trying to hire a hit man... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:55:54 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — In towns and cities along the path of the solar eclipse, some school districts are seizing... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:47:03 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters will be hitting the street with their boots in their hands. Columbia Fire Department will... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 5:00:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Helias Catholic High School won’t have to borrow Jefferson City High School’s stadium anymore after it opened... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:18:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri State Parks officials say they can't verify that solar eclipse glasses the agency sold meet... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Events
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for a Missouri man convicted of killing a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter 19 years... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:30:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
11am 83°
12pm 86°
1pm 88°
2pm 90°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:30a
Heart of a Champion with Lauren Thompson
11:00a
Wild About Animals
11:30a
Paid Program
10:30a
In Search of the Lord's Way
11:00a
Paid Program
11:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Gymnastics
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
6:00p
Cliffhanger
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld