Obamacare's implicit $1,200/year 'wife tax.'

OK, strictly speaking it also could be fairly called a ‘husband tax’ or a ‘spouse tax.’ You may also quibble on the ‘tax’ bit, largely because this is being done to avoid a tax.  But, hey: no Republican voted for this monstrosity, remember? So I’m admittedly a little indifferent to any Democratic pain over the nomenclature.


To avoid the Affordable Care Act’s so-called “Cadillac tax” on rich benefit plans, companies are adding surcharges of $100 a month or more to wives and husbands of workers, hoping spouses will seek coverage elsewhere,new employer data shows.


The idea behind the so-called “spousal surcharge” employers are implementing is to reduce the number of people an employer covers so the company can save money and avoid triggering the special excise tax for plans with high cost benefits.

Basically, if you have a high-end plan – and thanks to inflation, the definition of ‘high-end’ will get broader and broader every single year – then the company that you work for will want to get your spouse off of your insurance plan whenever possible. If making you pay a hundred bucks a month will do so, then that’s what an increasing number of them will do. To be fair, many companies don’t really want to, because people get cranky on the subject, but again: no Republican voted for this monstrosity.  “Tell your troubles to Jesus: the chaplain’s gone over the hill.”


Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: When a pro-Obamacare sort asks you what the big deal is, don’t explain to him or her that:

  • People don’t like having to have two separate health plans. Even when they can manage to get the same doctors, dentists, and optical services;
  • The system effectively penalizes stay-at-home parents (hi!);
  • Or that this system pretty much makes families have to hope that the person with the better health care coverage is the person who gets the life-threatening illness;

…or any of the other umpteen billion unintended consequences to this one.  Instead, talk to the person who’s eavesdropping on your conversation. That person might be amenable to reason.


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