Not only penalizing married people, but penalizing poorer married people:
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.”
The disparity comes about in part because subsidies for purchasing health insurance under the plan from congressional Democrats are pegged to federal poverty guidelines. That has the effect of limiting subsidies for married couples with a combined income, compared to if the individuals are single.
It applies to those who would get subsidized insurance, not employer insurance. Of course, the existence of subsidized insurance is a potential threat to the existence of employer insurance.
I think this should be getting more attention. But I guess the only way that public attention can affect things would be if the public had a say in the government. Apparently the last time we had any input was in November 2008.