The CBO is the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. They are the referees. Republicans and Democrats alike use their reports as the word of God himself because they look at facts … they have no preference to party and there is no politics.
It’s just the facts, ma’am.
And what are they saying? They’re saying that only 1.2% of Americans would be affected by the so called “individual mandate”.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities gives us the summary HERE:
The CBO study estimated that about 4 million, or just 1.2 percent of the population, willactually pay the penalty in 2016. The other 98.8 percent already have coverage, would get coverage under the Affordable Care Act (which would make coverage affordable to many for the first time), would be exempt from the mandate, or would owe the penalty but try to evade it.
The CBO explains the facts on the individual mandate … and what this penalty looks like in pages 71 – 73 HERE:
That penalty will be the greater of a flat dollar amount per person that rises to $695 in 2016 and is indexed by inflation thereafter (the penalty for children will be half that amount and an overall cap will apply to family payments) or a percentage of the household’s income that rises to 2.5 percent for 2016 and subsequent years (also subject to a cap).
If premiums for health insurance cost more than 8% of your income … you’re exempt from the penalty as well:
Others will be subject to the mandate but exempted from the penalty—for example, because they will have income low enough that they are not required to file an income tax return, because they are members of Indian tribes, or because the premium they would have to pay would exceed a specified share of their income (initially 8 percent in 2014 and indexed over time).
And this is how many people it is expected to effect after considering all the religious and financial exemptions:
After accounting for all of those factors, CBO and JCT estimate that about 4 million people will pay a penalty because they will be uninsured in 2016 (a figure that includes uninsured dependents who have the penalty paid on their behalf).
Now – if Americans want to freak out over taxing the 1.2% of Americans who will be hit with a penalty for choosing not to pay for health insurance even though they can afford it … then – I will be very, very surprised. If you can’t afford it – Obamacare either pays for your health insurance or helps you so that you can afford it. Here is what this chart below shows. In 2016 – the federal poverty level is expected to be around $11,800 for an individual and $24,000 for a family of four.
The CBO is expecting that 400,000 Americans are going to choose not to buy heavily discounted or free health insurance that make less than the 100% of poverty level. Frankly – at that level … the vast majority of Americans at that income level are going to have free insurance. The CBO believes 600,000 people will elect to pay a tax versus buying heavily discounted insurance at the 200% level. And so on and so forth. In a country with over 300 million people … this is just not that many people.
|Income at % of Federal Poverty Level|
|Est. 2016 Federal Poverty Level||100%||200%||300%||400%||500%|
|Family of 4||$24,000||$48,000||$72,000||$96,000||$120,000|
Now – Mitt Romney has said over and over that this is not a tax. Romney’s spokesman spoke to Chuck Todd at MSNBC today regarding the SCOTUS ruling and whether or not the penalty is a tax. You can find that HERE:
FEHRNSTROM: The Governor disagreed with the ruling of the court. He agreed with the dissent that was written by Justice Scalia, which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax.
CHUCK TODD: The governor does not believe the mandate is a tax — that’s what you’re saying?
FEHRNSTROM: The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the Court’s ruling that the mandate was a tax, but again —
TODD: But he agrees with the president that it is not — and he believes that you shouldn’t call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine?
FEHRNSTROM: That’s correct. But the president also needs to be held accountable for his hypocritical and contradictory statements…
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