David Frum

02.14.13

An Anti-Family Provision in Obamacare

Jed Graham points out a troubling provision in Obamacare:

Millions of such families could find themselves in what Cornell University economist Richard Burkhauser calls ObamaCare's "no man's land," where they can neither afford employer-sponsored family coverage nor access new government subsidies.

It's unavoidable because the law's definition of "affordable" — interpreted by the Treasury Department — only makes sense for single individuals. Employer coverage is deemed affordable if an individual policy costs no more than 9.5% of household income — even if family coverage costs 25% or more.

In that case, the individual will be required to take the employer's offer — or face a tax penalty. The spouse and dependent children would be denied access to ObamaCare subsidies, though they wouldn't face a potential fine for lacking coverage.