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

3 years 9 months 2 weeks 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
COLUMBIA — Columbia's Board of Education voted Monday night to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year. ... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 9:36:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted out of a White House press conference on Monday after shots were fired outside... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 6:06:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. This... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
Columbia - Watch live as the Board of Education considers three different proposals from the school district for the start... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 5:24:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The National Weather Service issued a flash flooding warning for Boone County as heavy rains continue until 9:45... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 5:11:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One person is suffering life-threatening injuries after a crash on I-70 on Monday. The crash occurred around... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:45:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson expanded his special session to include a new provision regarding the backlog of murder... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:32:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —It's not a surprise that back to school preparations might look different this year. For some teachers, this... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:28:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Commissioners of the power 5 conferences, (The ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) met Sunday to discuss potential... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 3:17:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested two people in suspected connection with a Sunday night burglary. Columbia police responded to a... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 3:07:17 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County's public health staff have a plan for contact tracing in the upcoming school year According... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:43:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services issued licenses to four new medical marijuana facilities. The... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:41:31 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
Ferguson, MO (KMOV) -- Sunday marks six years since 18-year-old Micheal Brown was killed in Ferguson. His death not only... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:28:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A 34-year-old man who police say held his 11-month-old son hostage while standing on a Missouri... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:23:36 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 12:22:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Lebanon's government stepped down on Monday night, less than a week after a massive explosion in Beirut killed... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 11:56:00 AM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Michelle Obama recently revealed that because of the pandemic and racial injustice in the US, she has been... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 10:15:14 AM CDT August 10, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
PITTSBURGH — Major League Baseball has postponed scheduled games between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates after... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 10:02:00 AM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
12am 70°
1am 68°
2am 69°
3am 71°