Citing a memo by House Republican staff, the Journal reports that an unmarried couple bringing in an income of $25,000 each would pay a combined premium of $3,076 per year in the House version. However, once the couple gets married, they would have a combined income of $50,000, and their premium cap would jumps to $5,160 per year - paying $2,084 more per year than if they had just decided to live together unmarried.
The Senate bill has the same effect, but the numbers narrow slightly: the unmarried couple in the above scenario would pay $3,450 in annual premiums, but pay $5,100 per year if they chose to get married. Marriage, therefore, cost them together an extra $1,650 per year in health-insurance premiums.
"This seems to not only penalize the married, but also those who would have the most to gain from marriage -- the poor," Jenny Tyree, an analyst at the Colorado-based Focus on the Family, told the Journal.
The Journal concludes that the health-care reform bill in effect adds to the list of "federal and social benefits creating incentives to remain single." Both the earned income tax credit and applying for welfare benefits and food stamps are made far more difficult for married persons to obtain than non-married persons.
Well, the (D) folk are consistent. Shacking up gets the prizes.