Press Release

CBO: 200 Thousand Impoverished Americans Will Pay Health Care Fine

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CBO: 200 Thousand Impoverished Americans Will Pay Health Care Fine
Obama Argued Against Fine in 2008

(Washington, D.C.) - According to a new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), about 200,000 Americans below the federal poverty level will be required to pay a tax penalty for not purchasing federally-approved health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, in 2016. Overall, 4 million Americans will pay the penalty, CBO says. The report notes that while many who pay the penalty will be people who voluntarily inform the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS will also "administer and collect the penalty payments" by pursuing others.

In contrast to popular perceptions that the law will bring about universal health insurance coverage, CBO says that about 30 million people will be uninsured by 2016, when the health care law has already been fully implemented. Between 2017 and 2024, the government will collect an average of about $5 billion each year from people who do not have insurance coverage in spite of the provisions of the law, including $100 million from those making less than 100 percent of the federal poverty line.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

"The central promise of the new health care law was that by bringing down the cost of insurance and making more affordable, virtually all Americans would have good health insurance at reasonable rates. Instead, 30 million Americans will be uninsured. And 4 million will pay tax penalties for not complying with the law. Moreover, this administration has hit a new low by penalizing 200,000 of America's most needy. 

In 2008, Barack Obama said a system like this would be unfair - because some people would be unable to afford care, and would also be forced to pay a fine. He was right. It is far past time for Washington to start fixing this law - before millions more working families are hurt." 

For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Brian Faughnan, 703-678-4581 or Steven Cruz, 202-578-6173.

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