Yet another blow against marriage – this time from the health care law known as Obamacare…
Goodbye, marriage, one is tempted to say after studying the new health care law. Its terms, which determine federal aid with health premiums purchased through the new exchanges, will penalize married couples, even more than does the income tax now.
Beginning in 2013, when many of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take effect, unwed Americans may find it even more advantageous-financially, anyway-to stay single than to marry. And women, or possibly men who earn less than their wives, will face greater incentives to leave the workforce.
This is not because of the much-publicized Medicare surtax, affecting singles earning $200,000 and couples earning $250,000, although the new tax does intensify the marriage penalty at upper- income levels. Rather, another, potentially more serious problem will affect the low end of the income scale and reach up well into the middle class: the health insurance premium credits in the new law are linked to the poverty line, resulting in new and steep marriage penalties.