A new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation finds that Obamacare’s myriad exemptions mean nearly 90% of America’s 30 million uninsured individuals will pay zero penalty as part of the individual mandate.
In an effort to soften one of Obamacare’s most unpopular provisions ahead of the midterm elections, the Obama administration carved out 14 so-called hardship exemptions in December to allow individuals to sidestep having to pay the much-maligned $95 tax or 1% of family income–a figure that jumps to $695 per adult or 2.5% of family income by 2016.
“If your pajamas don’t fit well, you don’t need health insurance,” joked former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, now President of the American Action Forum, to the Wall Street Journal. “It basically waives the individual mandate.”
Obamacare remains more unpopular than ever, according to the latest Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Just 37% of Americans say they support President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, Obamacare.