Defense of Marriage Act: Impact on State Policies, Caseload, and Cost of Federal Benefit Programs

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Date: Oct. 22, 2013

From the Government Institute

From the Advice Worth Keeping podcast series
Hosted by Stan Lepeak, global research director,
KPMG LLP Management Consulting


The Supreme Court has recently ruled that federal law can no longer define "marriage" as meaning "only the legal union of a man and a woman".

Because of the removal of this Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibition, states have greater latitude to determine how to treat same-sex married couples and their families in federally-funded program they administer, within the context of their own laws and federal program policies.

Hundreds of federal statutes use some version of the term "marriage". Every one of those statutes must be examined to determine what the impact of the DOMA decision will be.

David Hansell, Global Head of KPMG's Human & Social Services Center of Excellence, highlights the broad implications of DOMA for federally funded, state-administered benefits programs.

Listeners will gain an understanding of:

  • How the DOMA decision impacts federal programs such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Affordable Care Act
  • Potential complications that arise between state laws that prohibit recognizing same-sex married couples and federal program rules
  • How the recognition of same-sex couples shifts demographics in ways that may affect state budgets, program administration, and caseloads
  • Available data sources that will help predict the fiscal and operational impact of newly defined families
  • Staff training and IT system challenges and opportunities created by this new ruling.


Duration: Approximately 14 minutes
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For more Advice Worth Keeping, view the full list of podcasts and visit the Advice Worth Keeping blog.


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