While the Obama administration tries to douse political fires over a faulty federal exchange website, millions of Americans unable to keep health policies they like and others facing massive premium and deductible increases, experts now say the system also discourages marriage.
At issue is eligibility for federal subsidies under the new laws and the wide discrepancy between eligibility for two individuals compared to a married couple.
“The cut-off points under Obamacare would be $91,000 for two single people and $62,000 for a married couple. So it’s about $30,000 less income where you can get the subsidy,” said Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow David Burton, who noted that a quirk in federal tax law is responsible for this.
“Subsidies are available to people up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The marriage penalty’s really because of the way the poverty levels are calculated. If you have a one-person household, the poverty level is about $11,500. If you have a two-person household, the poverty level is $15,500. For those who don’t want to do the math, that means that it’s not twice as high,” Burton told WND. “So the long and the short of it is that two individuals that get married don’t get as much of a subsidy.”
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