As if there isn’t enough to dislike about Obamacare, David Gamage at the Wall Street Journal lays out a case against it in the context of the impact on working Americans. This provision in particular, wherein there is a financial incentive for divorce and penalties for marriage, came to my attention when Tony Perkins tweeted it.
For employees whose only job option comes with health insurance, ObamaCare’s new subsidies may also create penalties for marriage and incentives for divorce. Under rules proposed by the Treasury Department, if an employer offers health insurance for which the cost of self-only coverage is affordable to an individual employee, that employee’s entire family will be disqualified from receiving the new federal subsidies.
Consider a couple with children in which one of the parents earns most of the family’s income. If the couple marries, the family would lose thousands of dollars of subsidies that could otherwise be used to pay for health insurance for the children and the lower-income spouse. If the couple is already married, divorce may be their only option for obtaining affordable insurance for their children and the lower-income parent.
Providing a financial incentive for divorce is not good policy, America.