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Tax Penalty to Hit 6 Million Americans

Americans without health insurance will pay starting in 2014


About 6 million Americans — many in the middle class — will face a tax penalty for not purchasing health insurance under Obama’s health care plan, according to congressional analysts.

The penalty, which starts in 2014 and takes full effect in 2016, will work out to an average penalty of $1,200 in 2016. Earlier estimates, back when the bill was first passed, had 4 million people being affected by the penalty.

The fact that the penalty is likely to affect middle class citizens more has the usual critics of the health care law speaking out. According to Rep. Dave Camp,R-Mich., “The bad news and broken promises from Obamacare just keep piling up.”

An Obama administration spokesperson said 98% of Americans would not be affected by the tax penalty, either because they already have insurance or from exemptions such as financial hardship and religious reasons.

The tax penalty is a drop in the bucket compared to the typical costs of health insurance. Employer-provided family coverage costs $15,800 a year and single-person coverage costs $4,300. That makes the $1,200 tax penalty seem like small change.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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