The nation was shocked this week when the duo behind the smash hit “Love Will Keep Us Together” announced that they are getting a divorce. The Captain and Tennille, those 1970s icons of soft rock, were splitting up after 39 years.
But like all sad songs, there’s a backstory.
In 2008, the pair moved into their dream home in Prescott, AZ. Shortly after that, the “Captain,” Daryl Dragon, was diagnosed with a form of Parkinson’s Disease. The couple haven’t had a hit song in decades. Medical bills pile up, and his ailment makes it increasingly hard to tour and perform on stage. What’s Tennille without the Captain?
Remember this story, about the New York couple who are considering divorce because Obamacare makes health insurance cheaper for singles than for married couples? They discovered that they could save a significant amount of money if they lived as married, but are divorced in the eyes of the government. That marriage penalty — an odious social policy embedded in what was sold as a fiscal/economic policy — may be relevant to the Captain and Tennille’s situation.
TMZ, of all places, first posed the question:
Here’s what’s unclear — whether it’s possible Toni really filed for health insurance reasons … whether his coverage might be better if they were divorced.
In the age of Obamacare, the government echoes the pair’s famous lyrics — “you belong to me now.” But the IRS, not love, is what keeps us together.
The Captain and Tennille apparently still live together. The National Enquirer (I know, I know, but they got John Edwards when the national media couldn’t be stirred) report that the Captain’s condition has forced them to downsize their lives. They couldn’t take care of the dream home anymore — deteriorating health plus tight finances.
It all seems crazy, but so does the divorce of the Captain and Tennille, and so does the idea that the government can now force you to buy a product or face the loving embrace of the IRS, and that people who shout “Keep out of my bedroom!” support all this. We live in crazy times, so crazy that I’m citing TMZ and the Enquirer in an article about singers I haven’t even thought of since I was a kid.