These students are essentially being punished by Obamacare for working.

From the Kansas City Star.

IRS says; get grad students off university subsidized health plans or pay up

Typical federal government right hand/left hand confusion has some graduate students at the University of Missouri in Columbia turning their pockets inside out to scrape together enough money to afford health benefits.

On one hand, Obama administration education officials are pushing for colleges and universities to ease the rising cost of attending college, increase institutional need-based scholarship, and do whatever it can to help students avoid drowning in student-loan debt.

Of course, there’s also a push to make sure all Americans have affordable health care.

Meanwhile another hand — the Internal Revenue Service — is pointing to the employer mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act that it says stops universities from subsidizing health care benefits for graduate student teaching and research assistants who are paid a stipend by the school.

The IRS sees what the research and teaching graduate students do as work. Educators say the teaching and research furthers the student’s academic career. But if that work is a job, then grad assistants are employees — not just students. And according to the IRS, an employer can’t subsidize an employee’s private healthcare plan.

It affects graduate students at schools across the country.