Friday, March 28, 2014

Obamacare Changes Again!

I mentioned a bit more than a year back that many colleges and other governmental institutions were cutting back part-time workers to less than 30 hours a week to avoid being responsible under Obamacare for health insurance.  For adjunct faculty, this meant that many institutions, such as College of Western Idaho, reduced the maximum number of courses that you could teach from seven per year to six per year.  This was a great hardship, because adjunct faculty are already very poorly paid, and of course, now they had even less money to buy health insurance than they had before -- while Obamacare made health insurance more expensive.

The good news is that the constantly changing, what will it be this week? Obamacare system must have taken pity on adjuncts, because College of Western Idaho, and I presume other similar institutions, are again allowing adjuncts to teach up to seven courses a year.  This means that if you can actually get the seven maximum courses a year to teach, you can gross $18,795 per year.  Think of trying to raise a family on two of these munificent incomes, for a total of $37,590 -- and again, assuming that you can actually get the seven maximum courses a year to teach. 

It's a good thing that the health exchanges heavily subsidize health insurance with a per person deductible of $6250 per year.  (So if anything seriously goes wrong with your health, you are going to spend thousands of dollars that you do not have for medical care.)  And of course, there is the SNAP program, because people that teach at the college level should have the demeaning prospect of having to go to the government for food assistance.  Tragically, the College of Western Idaho is one of the better paying community colleges in the country.

If you really want to make sure that the people who are teaching your kids about economics, history, and the world have a strong economic incentive to identify with the poor and down-trodden, making sure that adjunct faculty are unable to identify with the middle class is about the most effective way to accomplish this end.

This is especially frustrating to me because I consider teaching to be really important -- a way to present equal time to the Marxian point of view that dominates college level teaching across the nation.  But if interest rates don't rise, I will have no choice but to continue exhausting myself working full-time as a software engineer, and part-time teaching college for several more years.  At current interest rates, I need about $1.5 million to be able to afford to teach, because you really can't afford to teach unless you are independently wealthy.

1 comment:

  1. "You really can't afford to teach unless you are independently wealthy."

    This issue of how much to pay teachers has been going on for a long, long time.

    Wasn't it the case in ancient Greece that it was considered improper to take money for teaching? I may not have that exactly right, but I seem to recall in I.F. Stone's Trial of Socrates that he objected to the charge that he took money for teaching.