Only 2 in 100 Americans Will Face Penalty for Not Getting Health Coverage

June 29, 2012 at 10:28 am

To hear some critics, you’d think the Supreme Court’s upholding of the individual mandate in health reform means Americans will face a massive, broad-based tax increase.  Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, for example, stated, “it’s now clear that ‘Obamacare’ is all about taxes and it hits everybody, not just rich people.”

Here’s the reality:  just 2 percent of the population will face a penalty for failing to get health coverage, according to an Urban Institute study.  The other 98 percent either already have coverage, would get coverage under the Affordable Care Act (which would make coverage affordable to many for the first time), or would be exempt from the mandate, the study found.

The benefits of the individual mandate, in contrast, would be widespread, as the Urban Institute study explains:

By encouraging the currently insured healthier individuals to stay in [the individual and small group insurance] markets and attracting newly insured healthy individuals into them as well, the individual [mandate] leads to lower premiums and more stable insurance markets than would be the case without it.

NOTE: For an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office of the number of people who will pay the penalty in 2016, please see CBO Estimates That Only 1.2 Percent of Americans Will Pay Penalty for Not Getting Health Coverage.

Print Friendly

More About Paul N. Van de Water

Paul N. Van de Water

Paul N. Van de Water is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he specializes in Medicare, Social Security, and health coverage issues.

Full bio | Blog Archive | Research archive at CBPP.org

1 Comments Add Yours ↓

Comments are listed in reverse chronological order.

  1. 1

    Why doesn’t someone look into all those peoples connection to health insurance
    companies who are against Obamacare to see how much they would lose/gain if it were rejected?



Your Comment

Comment Policy:

Thank you for joining the conversation about important policy issues. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters and are subject to approval and moderation. We reserve the right to remove comments that:

  • are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate;
  • contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs;
  • solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites or to sell products or services;
  • may infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of others or other applicable laws or regulations; or
  • are otherwise inconsistent with the goals of this blog.

Posted comments do not necessarily represent the views of the CBPP and do not constitute official endorsement by CBPP. Please note that comments will be approved during the Center's business hours. If you have questions, please contact communications@cbpp.org.



 characters available