Conservatives have been exchanging email for weeks about the shocking fact that Obama's health care bill discriminates against marriage and promotes unmarried couples living together, but this finally made it into the national news media with an article in the Wall Street Journal. Under the bills passed by both the Senate and the House, married couples would pay thousands of dollars more for the same health insurance coverage as unmarried people living together. People who get their health insurance from their employers would not be affected, but the rest of us, who are forced to buy health insurance, would be stuck with this discrimination.
Here is the cost for an unmarried couple who each earn $25,000 a year. When they both buy health insurance, their combined premiums would be capped at $3,076 a year. If the couple gets married and has the same combined income of $50,000, their annual premium cap jumps to $5,160 a year. That's a marriage penalty of $2,084. The marriage penalty is the result of the fact that government subsidies for buying health insurance are pegged to the federal poverty guidelines. This is another example of the financial incentives built into federal law that discourage marriage, and promote non-marital living arrangements and illegitimacy.
The Wall Street Journal reporter quizzed the Democratic staff who wrote the bill and reported that they justified the different treatment because, as the staffer said, "you have to decide what your goals are." The Democratic staff told the reporter that making the subsidies neutral towards marriage would lead to a married couple with only one bread-winner getting a more generous subsidy than a single parent at the same income level. The Democrats know that 70% of unmarried moms voted for Obama in 2008, and the Democrats plan to reward this group with taxpayer subsidies for their health insurance
Listen to this commentary: