The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Wednesday said nearly 6 million Americans, 2 million more than the office’s initial 2010 estimate, will face a “tax penalty” in 2014 for not having insurance once Obamacare is implemented.
President Barack Obama promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, but after the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare was constitutional because it was a tax, the CBO discovered that most of the 6 million Americans that will potentially pay the Obamacare tax are in the middle class.
Obama promised he would not raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000, but the CBO analysis found “80 percent of those who’ll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level. Currently that would work out to $55,850 or less for an individual and $115,250 or less for a family of four.”
According to the Associated Press (AP), Erin Shields Britt, a Health and Human Services Department Spokeswoman for the Obama administration, said the analysis “doesn’t change the basic fact that the individual responsibility policy will only affect people who can afford health care but choose not to buy it.”
The CBO estimated the Obamacare tax would raise $6.9 billion in 2016 and the average tax would be $1,600.
The AP notes that some Americans may choose to forego insurance and pay the tax, which would still make them uninsured, and the CBO said most of the increase in its estimate was due to “changes in underlying projections about the economy, incorporating the effects of new federal legislation, as well as higher unemployment and lower wages.”
A Romney spokeswoman said the CBO report was more evidence Obamacare was a “costly disaster” and that “even more of the middle-class families who President Obama promised would see no tax increase will in fact see a massive tax increase thanks to Obamacare.”