Washington D.C., Jan 8, 2010 / 04:42 am
Proposed health care reform could require some married couples to pay $2,000 or more compared to unmarried couples living together, prompting some leaders to criticize the “marriage penalty.” They voiced concerns the provision would discourage marriage.
The penalty arises because the planned subsidies for purchasing health insurance are tied to federal poverty guidelines. According to the Wall Street Journal, this would limit subsidies for married couples with a combined income compared to subsidies for unmarried couples.
The rules would not affect those who receive health insurance from an employer. They would only affect those who buy subsidized insurance through the new insurance exchanges set up by the legislation.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 17 million people would receive such subsidies in 2016 under the House health care bill.