Is this going to be another application of the Law of Unintended Consequences, foisted upon society by the Progressives?
I had heard this a while ago, but I thought it had been "fixed"…sure has – not! From the Wall Street Journal:
Some married couples would pay thousands of dollars more for the same health insurance coverage as unmarried people living together, under the health insurance overhaul plan pending in Congress.
The built-in "marriage penalty" in both House and Senate healthcare bills has received scant attention. But for scores of low-income and middle-income couples, it could mean a hike of $2,000 or more in annual insurance premiums the moment they say "I do."
And I will have no one else to thank but Democrats – and from my state, Jr. Senator Shaheen and CongressCritters Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter.
These guys are supposed to protect NH taxpayers – instead, they could take a LOT more money out of folks’ wallets. Why?
The disparity comes about in part because subsidies for purchasing health insurance under the plan from congressional Democrats are pegged to federal poverty guidelines. That has the effect of limiting subsidies for married couples with a combined income, compared to if the individuals are single.
People who get their health insurance through an employer wouldn’t be affected. Only people that buy subsidized insurance through new exchanges set up by the legislation stand to be impacted. About 17 million people would receive such subsidies in 2016 under the House plan, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.
The bills cap the annual amount people making less than 400% of the federal poverty level must pay for health insurance premiums, ranging from 1.5% of income for the poorest to 11% at the top end, under the House plan.
For an unmarried couple with income of $25,000 each, combined premiums would be capped at $3,076 per year, under the House bill. If the couple gets married, with a combined income of $50,000, their annual premium cap jumps to $5,160 — a "penalty" of $2,084. Those figures were included in a memo prepared by House Republican staff.
Right hand not knowing that the left hand exists. These chuckleheads just don’t seem to get that when you put incentives in front of people, they react to it. Put dis-incentives in front of people, they will react to that as well.
So, what is the quickest way to devolve into poverty – generally a young woman without an education who marries young, has kids, and then goes through a divorce. However, one would hope that, outside of abuse, the spouses make the effort to keep a marriage together.
Now, what the Progressives are about to do is penalize the act of marriage by essentially saying "Get married, pay $2,000 / year forever – to US!". All studies show that the traditional family is the best environment for raising kids – and now our elected officials are putting another roadblock in the road to matrimony.
Will this perverse disincentive also lend a push to those marriages that are already on shaky grounds that one last nudge to dissolve the marriage?
Welfare has already made husbands irrelevant – the mother and children get more in benefits when the husband / father are not in the picture. In effect, Government has become the surrogate husband in many cases. This is yet another nudge in that direct – more bennies from the Entitlement Givers if Dad goes away…..