Some commentators argue that ObamaCare will “destroy marriage for the middle class the same way that the Great Society welfare state destroyed the black family with financial incentives for staying single.” Politically, the “marriage penalty” is also another Democratic kickback. This provision is designed to placate and cement the support of that 70 percent of unmarried women who voted for President Obama in the 2008 election. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a liberal firm that consults for clients such as Bill Clinton and John Kerry, said: “Unmarried women represent one of the most reliable Democratic cohorts in the electorate ... leading the charge for fundamental change in health care.” Many of these unmarried women are mothers (older women, rather than teenagers, currently drive the out-of-wedlock birth rates); women in their 20s had 60 percent of all babies born out of wedlock, and women over age 30 had another 17 percent. ObamaCare is a boondoggle for these older unmarried mothers.
Many pro-marriage activists view the bill as “a direct attack on marriage,” which the Heritage Foundation reports could go as high as a $10,000 annual “penalty” for being married, and, cumulatively, a married couple “could face a penalty of over $200,000 during the course of their marriage.” The bill would “hit young married couples hard” and “bite back at empty-nesters” by creating “enormous pressure for couples to live together without marriage — or even get divorced — by charging married couples thousands of dollars more in premiums and fees.”
ObamaCare means a new tax will disproportionately fall to lower and middle income couples who choose to get married rather than just live together. The House Republicans gave an example of an unmarried couple, each earning $25,000, for a total income of $50,000 who would pay annual health insurance premiums capped at $3,076. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 17 million people would receive such subsidies in 2016 under the House health care bill. A married couple with the same combined income, $50,000 a year, would pay premiums capped at $5,160 — a “marriage penalty” of $2,084.