Obamacare Has A Marriage Penalty

Saturday, 16 Nov 2013 02:45 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Couples wanting to take advantage of the Obamacare subsidies faire better if they opt to live together or even divorce as opposed to getting or staying married.

The Atlantic
reported that in the state of New York, married couples qualify for subsidies to help pay for their health insurance if their combined income is below 400 percent above the poverty line. However, if those married earn more than that, which is $62,040, then they no longer qualify for subsidies.

If the same couple decided not to marry or divorced then they could earn up to $45,960 each or $91,920 together and still qualify for the same subsidies.

The Heritage Foundation reported  on this "federal wedding tax" in January 2010 when it did an analysis on the Senate-passed health care bill before it was signed into law.

The conservative think tank found that married couples would pay more than $10,000 per year under Obamacare than their non-married counterparts since their their income is counted separately as well as reduce married couples' disposable income by more than 10 percent.

They same group argues that these "cohabitation bonuses" in Obamacare "send a negative social message."

It is in the government's self-interest to promote marriage, since it helps "increase economic output, reduce poverty, shrink income inequality, lower rates of incarceration and drug use, and spur the creation of of future taxpayers (aka babies)," The Weekly Standard argued.

Calling it "the most catastrophic piece of legislation in modern American history," the conservative publication says that it is unclear whether this marriage penalty "is accidental or by design."


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