ObamaCare could make you think twice about saying ‘I do’

Hans Bader Senior Attorney, CEI
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The new tax on investors in the health care bill has been increased from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent, but only a few media outlets like Bloomberg and Business Week are reporting it, since if the public knew about it, they might be more opposed to ObamaCare.

As the Washington Times earlier noted, ObamaCare discriminates against married people, containing massive marriage penalties.  If you get married, your income will be hit by ObamaCare’s increased tax rates a lot faster than if you just live together without getting married.  Under the bill, you will give up your right to federal health care subsidies at a lower income level if you are married than if you are an unmarried couple.  For many “low-income and middle-income couples, it could mean a hike of $2,000 or more in annual insurance premiums the moment they say ‘I do.’”  (While Obama won the 2008 election, he narrowly lost among married people.)  The new tax on investors is a classic example of the marriage penalty, since it kicks in at $200,000 if you are single — that is, $400,000 for an unmarried couple — but only $250,000 for a married couple.

Obamacare would also impose many middle-class tax increases, such as taxes on uninsured individuals, on cosmetic surgery, on medical devices, and on certain health-care plans.

Governors of both political parties assail the health care bill as a job-killer that will drive up state deficits, increase taxes, and harm the economy.  The governors of New York and California warned that “their states will be crushed by billions in new costs.”

Tax experts say it would dangerously expand the power and responsibilities of the IRS.

The Washington Post falsely claims that the CBO says the health care bill will save $1.2 trillion over its second decade, but the CBO says the figure is not from it (it’s from Congressional Democrats).  Amazingly, the CBO, under orders from Democratic leaders, has understated the bill’s cost for the first decade by including the present fiscal year — in which Obamacare is not yet law and thus has no costs — while excluding its last year from cost calculations.  The result was to reduce the projected price tag for the bill from $1.2 trillion to $940 billion.

While the CBO has scored the health care bill as not increasing the federal deficit, thanks to the many tax increases in the bill, it has done so only by accepting many accounting gimmicks that even pro-Obama journalists have admitted conceal the bill’s enormous cost and the fact that it will massively increase the deficit.  The New York Times‘ David Brooks, once a staunch Obama supporter, now says the bill’s drafters were “corrupted by power” and calls arguments for the bill “unbelievable” and “insane.”  The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle, who also voted for Obama, says that the bill “is a fiscal disaster waiting to happen.”

The Congressional Budget Office, which would not question Obama’s gimmicks to lowball the cost of his health care plan, nevertheless admits that “President Obama’s policies would add more than $9.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.”

There are $3,000,000,000,000 in tax increases in Obama’s budget.  But he’s spending money at such a furious pace that the deficit will skyrocket anyway: “The president’s budget would borrow 42 cents for each dollar spent in 2010,” and “double the national debt over the next decade.”  Obama recently ran up the largest budget deficit in history, by a huge margin.

ObamaCare will reduce medical innovation, raise taxes, drive up insurance premiums, and break campaign promises.  It  would cut the quality of  care, while imposing restrictions that failed when tried at the state level.  It ignores advice from experts about how to cut costs.

A retired federal judge says that the tactic congressional leaders are using to rush Obamacare into law violates Supreme Court rulings and the Constitution.

Hans Bader is counsel to special projects at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. This article originally appeared on the CEI blog.