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Obamacare’s Threat to Marriage and America’s Civil Society
Posted By Collette Caprara On October 21, 2013 @ 3:12 pm In Culture,Front Page,Obamacare | Comments Disabled
In addition to a tsunami of glitches  in online enrollment, Obamacare is designed with a payment structure that undercuts marriage and the family—two institutions that have historically provided the foundation for a sustainable and thriving civil society.
The law is structured to provide less support to a husband and wife than it would to the same couple if they were cohabiting. In essence, it will tax married couples  to fund the benefits it provides to couples who cohabit, divorce, or never marry. The impact of this discrimination will affect couples at every income level and creates a scenario in which couples’ wisest financial decision would be to divorce  or forgo tying the knot.
America has already seen a 50 percent decline  in the marriage rate since the 1970s and a tenfold increase in cohabitation . If Obamacare exacerbates this decline, many more Americans could miss out on the positive effects  that marriage has for both men and women . Children , in particular, will suffer amidst continued family dissolution regarding poverty, physical and emotional health, and the likelihood of success.
Without the benefits of an intact family, children are 82 percent more likely to live in poverty  and tend to fare worse on a wide range of economic measures . In their teens, they are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such as sexual activity , substance abuse , and anti-social behavior . They also tend to fare worse on emotional and psychological  outcomes and have lower levels of academic achievement  and educational attainment.
The backup plan to tying the knot—cohabitation—will not offer protection from the impact of this cultural disintegration. Research  from the National Marriage Project  and the Institute for American Values reveals that, compared with peers who live with both biological parents in intact families, children in cohabiting households are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional, social, and behavioral problems and less likely to succeed academically. According to government data, they are also at least three times more likely to be abused physically, sexually, or emotionally. In fact, regarding significant measures of well-being, children in cohabiting households fare worse than counterparts in single-parent families.
In addition, cohabiting couples are much more likely to separate than married parents: Children born to cohabiting couples are 170 percent more likely to experience a parental breakup than children born to married couples. This family instability carries dire consequences for children and is linked to poor relationships with parents, behavioral and health problems, and school failure.
Obamacare should be stopped and ultimately repealed before it takes its devastating toll on America’s civil society. Policymakers should also pursue policies and programs  to promote and strengthen marriage  and an intact family structure.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/10/21/obamacares-threat-to-marriage-and-americas-civil-society/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Father-son-lake.jpg
 glitches: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/01/obamacare-health-exchange-websites-down-glitches/2901595/
 tax married couples: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/01/the-new-federal-wedding-tax-how-obamacare-would-dramatically-penalize-marriage
 divorce: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/10/02/Why-Divorce-Attorneys-Will-Love-Obamacare
 50 percent decline: http://stateofourunions.org/2011/SOOU2011.pdf
 cohabitation: http://www.familyfacts.org/charts/110/nearly-12-percent-of-couples-living-together-are-unmarried
 positive effects: http://americanvalues.org/bookstore/pub.php?pub=81
 men and women: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/familyfacts/briefs/FF_Brief_1.pdf
 Children: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/marriage-americas-greatest-weapon-against-child-poverty
 economic measures: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/familyfacts/briefs/FF_Brief_31.pdf
 sexual activity: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/familyfacts/briefs/FF_Brief_36.pdf
 substance abuse: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/familyfacts/briefs/FF_Brief_24.pdf
 anti-social behavior: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/familyfacts/briefs/FF_Brief_26.pdf
 emotional and psychological: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/familyfacts/briefs/FF_Brief_34.pdf
 academic achievement: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/familyfacts/briefs/FF_Brief_35.pdf
 Research: http://nationalmarriageproject.org/resources/why-marriage-matters/
 National Marriage Project: http://nationalmarriageproject.org/
 policies and programs: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2010/pdf/Solutions_8.pdf
 marriage: http://www.stateofourunions.org/2012/SOOU2012.pdf
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