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Boehner: New 'Marriage Penalty' One Consequence of Democrats' Shady Deals on Health Care

Contact: Michael Steel, Antonia Ferrier, Kevin Smith, 202-225-4000 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 /Standard Newswire/ -- House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today based on news reports that the Democrats' health care bill includes a new "marriage penalty" that will cost married couples more than $2,000 a year in higher health insurance costs: 

    "The more the American people learn about the Democrats' health care bill - a government takeover that will raise taxes and cut Medicare - the less they like it, which is why Democratic Leaders are scrambling to cut shady backroom deals to get it passed as soon as possible.  But jamming this sort of complex legislation through Congress in the dark of night means that we are just learning about some of its more damaging provisions, including a new 'marriage penalty' that will cost couples that wed thousands of dollars in higher health insurance costs.  Since the American people's number one concern when it comes to health care is lowering costs, this provision flies in the face of public opinion and common sense. 
    "How many more legislative landmines will be sown in the wrangling over the final bill?  We won't know until it's too late, unless Democratic Leaders honor the President's promise and put the negotiations on CSPAN for the American people to see.  Rep. Vern Buchanan has offered a resolution requiring that they do just that.  It should be supported by every Member of Congress -- Republican and Democrat -- who cares about the future of our nation.  Massive changes to health care are too important to be slapped together in a fly-by-night manner in some Washington backroom."
NOTE:  Dow Jones has reported that, "Some married couples would pay thousands of dollars more for the same health insurance coverage as unmarried people living together, under the health insurance overhaul plan pending in Congress.  The built-in 'marriage penalty' in both House and Senate healthcare bills has received scant attention. But for scores of 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.'"