Obamacare costs and higher education

In case you weren’t yet convinced just how much the Affordable Care Act impacts much more than insurance companies and small businesses, a new report [1] is revealing how Obamacare is starting to affect higher education.

Officials at the University of South Carolina have hiked tuition for the forthcoming school year in a bid to more easily shoulder the increased costs associated with implementing Obamacare. That’s right. The law – which wholly depends on enrollment from young, healthy adults – is adding to that burden by forcing universities to raise already-high tuition prices. Indeed, campus officials explicitly stated that university costs are “expected to increase due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

The 3.2 percent tuition increase at the South Carolina school may seem small, but it’s an unwanted finger tipping a scale that already leans in favor of ivory towers. Universities don’t have to scramble for the extra $342 per student; middle-class families have to.

In a campus-wide news release, University President Harris Pastides said, “We are now at a critical tipping point. The current trajectory is no longer sustainable for our students, parents and taxpayers.”  Pastides also told the Charleston Post and Courier that the university has been forced to cut employees’ hours in order to offset the Obamacare mandate.

The South Carolina school isn’t the only one struggling with how to cope with Obamacare. The University of North Carolina system, which has 17 colleges throughout the state, estimated it would cost [2] $45 million to pay for the Obamacare mandate.

Every day it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Obamacare is bad news for every facet of the American economy. Just like any business passes down increased costs to consumers, so too will universities pass down costs to students in the form of tuition hikes. If it wasn’t obvious before, it certainly is now: we can’t afford Obamacare!