The recent health care debate has shown that many in Congress do not always vote in favor of what is best for their constituents. Families, specifically, will suffer many negative repercussions from the passage of the health care bill.

Heritage’s Chuck Donovan explains the immense impact that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will have on families by decreasing family choice, undermining the role of parents, penalizing marriage, and undercutting freedom of conscience.

More Families Covered but Less Family Choice: “Families gained nothing from PPACA that will permit them to purchase better or cheaper plans across state lines. The new law also does nothing to increase the variety of insurance available in the market, which could include family-friendly options like health plans managed by professional associations, unions, and faith-based groups. Nor will families be able to purchase health plans that exclude coverage for services to which they ethically object or which they do not need.”

Undermining the Role of Parents: “PPACA expands several funding streams that undermine parental responsibility and authority to direct the upbringing of their children. The law lavishes federal dollars on programs like school-based health centers and a new ‘Personal Responsibility Education’ (PRE) program that deny parents knowledge of sensitive services their children receive in federally funded projects.”

Penalizing Marriage: “The marriage penalty imposed by the law could exceed $10,000 per year for certain couples. This is because the affordability tax credit phases out rapidly as income rises. Not only does this health insurance marriage penalty dissuade a younger, low-income couple from getting married—which is one of the most beneficial life decisions they can make for themselves and for their children—but it also provides older couples, some of the hardest hit by this law, with an incentive to obtain a ‘divorce of convenience.'”

Undercutting Freedom of Conscience: “As health care reform proceeded, strong majorities of Americans supported protecting provider and insurer rights of conscience as well as limiting the use of tax funds for abortion. In March 2009, 87 percent of respondents to a national poll supported ensuring ‘that health care professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections.’ A January 2010 Quinnipiac Survey found that 67 percent of Americans oppose public funding of abortion. On March 24, President Obama signed an executive order that attempts to apply conscience protections and abortion funding limits to the full text of PPACA. Regardless of the order’s intent, judicial rulings for the past 35 years have made it clear that public funding of elective abortions in federal programs cannot be barred without the kind of direct ban that Congress failed to include in many parts of PPACA.”

The health care bill will have a major negative impact on many American families. To learn more about the impact of the health care bill, visit Side Effects.