Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

The Shrinking Obamacare Individual Mandate

CBO estimate individual mandate tax CBO Doug Elmendorf

CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s the tax at the heart of Obamacare, but just more than 1 percent of Americans will end up paying it, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) slashed their estimates for how many people will pay the individual mandate tax penalty in 2016 by a third — to 4 million from 6 million — citing exemptions granted by the Obama administration, including exemptions for people whose plans were cancelled because they did not meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirements.

That’ll lead to $4 billion in revenue in 2016 and $5 billion a year after that — a drop of about $3 billion a year. It will still generate $46 billion over a decade, the CBO said Thursday.

CQ Roll Call’s Rebecca Adams has reported extensively on this issue, noting that the IRS isn’t expected to do much to enforce the mandate anytime soon.

There are also numerous exemptions that mean 87 percent of the 30 million people who will still be without insurance will be able to avoid the tax.

That includes illegal immigrants — who aren’t eligible for Obamacare benefits — and low-income people.

Adams detailed the list of Obamacare exemptions here.

The mandate penalty will rise in 2016 to a minimum $695 per uninsured adult or 2.5 percent of adjusted gross income from $95 or 1 percent this year.

It’s considered the heart of the law and key to the ban on discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.

That’s because without it, many people would choose to wait until they are sick to buy insurance, driving up premiums. In turn, more people would forgo insurance.

Insurance companies have repeatedly argued for a robust mandate to buy insurance, warning of a death spiral without it.

The CBO had projected the law would cut the deficit significantly, especially in the second decade as provisions like a tax on “Cadillac” insurance plans start to kick in.

But as CQ Roll Call reported this week, the CBO has given up estimating the cost of the law.

The latest CBO report was requested by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the ranking member of the Finance Committee. He issued a statement reiterating a call for repealing the individual mandate.

  • Remove From List

    “over 1 percent of Americans will end up paying it” is still 1% to many.
    “CBO has given up estimating the cost of the law”

  • TimeWarp66

    Impeach and repeal!

  • PrincessBarryLIES

    What a complete disaster the Kenyan Cockroach was. Disgusting.

  • Ratt Stone

    FTA: “That’ll lead to $4 billion in revenue in 2016 and $5 billion a year after that — a drop of about $3 billion a year. It will still generate $46 billion over a decade, the CBO said Thursday.”
    Arrrrgggg, these kindof statements just peeeeeesssss me off. Obamacare ain’t gona generate any revenue, it is gona pull $46 Billion out of the economy by illegally taxing American citizens.

  • dunn1ngkruger

    There are 227 million adults give or take in America. 18+. So, since I am not good at math… 227-6 million = 221 million adults have signed up for Obamacare and are insured…

    LOL. ROTFLMAO… those numbers are solid!

  • lynnd

    more lies and sleigh of hand by the Liar in chief.

  • Daniel Villarreal


    Full Speed Ahead

  • Jeff Trinkaus

    He should hang

  • jaz

    So my penalty is waived because my insurance was cancelled? Yippie! Although I fondly remember how things were before the idiot decided to help everyone. I actually had insurance, and not a single solitary soul in the entire country had to worry about an IRS penalty that will now apply to millions of us. Thanks for the help, idiot. Oh, and thanks for electing the idiot, democrats.

  • Jeff Trinkaus

    No no no….you have to use common core math

  • libwithIQ

    Obamacare is a travesty that needs to be eliminated as soon as possible. It’s costing trillions more than estimated. Not covering all that it promised. And has cost millions their jobs. Repeal it now.

  • libwithIQ

    Bidens right hand should be about a foot lower. He should be at least giving a reach around.

  • StageCoachDriver

    “There are also numerous exemptions that mean 87 percent of the 30
    million people who will still be without insurance will be able to avoid
    the tax.”

    If these were applied to high income tax payers they’d be called evil ‘loopholes’.

  • Blandly Urbane

    CBO “projected the law would cut the deficit significantly” based upon Present Obama and his administration. Why do these guys seem surprised? I realize how and why they go about their estimates as they do, but it’s almost a case of why bother.

  • Shortshanks Viewminder

    I have never talked with anyone who benefited from Obamacare personally but I’ve talked to a lot of people that were affected negatively by it.

  • disqusisdumb9

    I did my part by not signing up and not paying taxes. I refuse to financially empower this CRIMINAL regime. STOP complaining and making smart comments and join me by actually refusing to play the game.

  • Dennis

    Impeach and repeal! Follow the trail…..

  • donottreadonme

    How convenient that the CBO is suddenly unable to calculate the damage caused by Obamacare. Does this mean Obamacare is now a big, black hole into which an untold amount of money will be poured without accountability? In other words, will we never know how much we are wasting to prop up this dead fish?
    This is right in line with the liberal mindset – keep it going because “it’s the right thing to do”, without any regard for the costs or economic impact. Just look at California and Maryland and Detroit and Chicago. Anywhere liberal progs have been entrenched and unchallenged for generations. Year after year of tax increases to pay for year after year of liberal insanity-induced spending.

  • donottreadonme

    Right on – that comment means Americans are being taxed $46 billion over a decade for NOT receiving a service they do not want and did not ask for.

  • sam256

    Obama will give a free pass to the majority of them, he cannot afford anyone to be mad at him or the Democrats.
    It won’t do any good before the next election, the fines come out of 2015 taxes anyway, but for the next Presidential election he will forgive all, in fact, he will pay for anyone’s coverage so the Dems will be able to brag about that and will try and keep the White House.
    What all those dummies do not know is the majority of the country is still good hard working people, not free loafers and illegals, and we will not forget what he and the Democrats have done to us.

  • Mada

    For the 50 million of us who don’t qualify for subsidies and already have insurance that we like, in 2016 we’ll have to pay twice as much for insurance that Barry deems acceptable.

  • freedomfighterx

    no bath in the communism you help create commie amerikans

  • albertG

    some remind us… why do we have laws or a congress? The EPA creates “rules”, the Obama administration exempts people from “laws” and ignores congress to release terrorists… the “justice department” doesn’t enforce immigration laws on the southern border.

    banana republic

  • jcd0101

    even the CBO (full of accountants) cant calculate the cost of this unconstitutional vile law..

    Now thats bad..
    so what happened to (this will drive down the defecit)?
    oh yea – democrats just made that part up..

    no one knows how much it will cost – but it sure wont be revenue neutral..
    expect a huge insurance company bailout..
    to the tune of trillions of dollars we dont have..

    Oh but not to worry
    democrats will just PRINT AND SPEND…
    forget tax and spend – they have blown the next 10 years worth of tax receipts..

    now its just Print and spend..

  • Sicilian Papa

    I am finally a 1%er.

  • ItsMe_IsThatYou

    Obama sucks.

  • Darrell

    The way this ObamaCare is put together, it is nothing but a total joke. Just smoke and mirrors….going nowhere. For what the Democrats promoted is that those 30 Million uninsured would be covered. Well, it is not happening. What a ‘sham’ promoted by just ‘idealogical’ theory! They all need to be fired….that is the Democrats and this so-called ‘executive branch’ of gov’t!!!!

  • Eric J

    The government sure does get excited about new taxes. Even if it hits those who probably can’t afford it.

  • FastPlastic

    Not only that they claimed this will save the country money, but now the CBO isn’t really sure…

  • TomB19

    And you should be in jail.

  • I said it

    the best way to insure people is to make sure they have a job.

  • Erik11235813

    46 billion in taxes over 10 years…. Didn’t the cbo project the aca to cost 1.1 trillion over 10 years?

  • Falsk Konto

    But those who can’t afford it will be so grateful when they get their obama phones….

  • Falsk Konto

    It was never designed to be successful. It was always an intermediate step to ultimately fail (while destroying private healthcare). The goal is and always has been to put a true single payer system in place to give the gov’t complete control.

  • Godot

    They will say and do ANYTHING to get their bleep foisted off on us. “You can keep your healthplan”…. bleepin’ LIAR.

  • ObamaHillaryKilledBenghaziFour

    At some point, you run out of other people’s money and when there’s no money left to pay the taxes, look out. All hell will break loose. Thanks a lot you freeloading, low information, government teat sucking, lazy POS’s. You are going to get exactly what you deserve for electing the Kenyan cockroach.

  • bluemanx

    The scam about the CBO numbers is they only score what they are told to score by the people who know what they want the numbers to look like ahead of time.

  • Godot

    ‘Cause Barry and the Ivy League elite are always right, even when they are wrong.

  • Stephen Moore

    Suppposedly 7 or 8 million have signed up for healthcare (assuming of course that 4 or 5 million aren’t part of that number). 4 more million will pay the tax.
    My question is: What about the other 30 million that don’t have health care?

  • Im_Rick_James

    They can suck it – Won’t pay. Period.

  • Steven Dennis

    The individual mandate tax is just one of the taxes that pay for the Affordable Care Act. A surtax on wealthy is much larger. Plus a bunch of others. +Medicare provider cuts.

  • RCB53

    Constitutional crisis and loss of freedom is worth … $4,000,000,000. Gates could write a check and become the emperor.

  • Kim A

    You sir are now in the government’s crosshairs 😉

  • Kim A

    Twice as much? If you’re lucky.


    Wont have to worry about it as soon as our economy collapses. Keep spending and hope our kids can pay off this massive debt what a joke. I need one of those credit cards just spend on anything that you think is cool and someone may pay it off.

  • Wyrdless

    Wait, Illegals don’t have to pay the tax? WTF !?!?!

    Why do they get an exemption?
    They still go to the emergency room, so the same costs still apply due to them being uninsured

  • Wyrdless

    There are 20 million illegal aliens and all of them are exempt

  • boboadobo

    I could have told you that in 2008

  • Godot

    Yes JAIL for anyone who might express an opinion unfavorable to dear leader.

  • RedRyderz

    ObamaCare is probably the best medicine this country can have. It shows us in painfully destructive detail, the dangers of government collectivist thought implemented into law. Hopefully, our morbidly obese government will collapse the economy soon, so that we can rebuild our Constitutional Republic.

  • Angus of the Hill People

    Do not use Democrat math here. The VAST majority of us had insurance before this debacle began and saw it double or worse in price. The calculus should be 30 mil uninsured, minus 7 million who signed up equals 23 million still without insurance. And for the small sum of $1.1 trillion. Who’s laughing now?

  • Earl Turner

    Lobbyists for Big Insurance went to Congress, bribed them with booze and dope and underage hookers, and said “hey guys, great idea here, force everyone to buy our product!”

    And of course Congress did the bidding of its corporate masters. But being Congress, they also screwed it up royally, adding so many mandated coverages that the minimum catastrophic coverage we probably could have afforded became way too expensive for the average working class family.

    Now we the people are going to have to bail out the insurance companies because nobody is buying the overpriced junk policies.

    Welcome to the Corporatist States of Amurrica.

  • brew_it

    Demographics will kill this law, unless younger, healthier people want to fork over more than 50% incomes(if they can find a job that pays well) to State and Federal taxmen.

  • Sicilian Papa

    I am in the 1% that has to pay the Obamacare tax. Maybe I will get lucky and totally collapse financially in the next year.

  • fr0thing

    That’s 4 million too many. Obamacare has nothing to do with healthcare – this is a tax scheme and power grab, nothing more.

  • TGrade1

    This whole fiasco was so that poor people could get insurance. We should have just given them vouchers to buy their own on the open market, with a sliding scale based on income. Pre-existing coverage could have been a part of the law. We could have had a law written on three pages, not 2600 with over 60,000 pages of regulations and counting.

  • Fred Tate

    obama can suck my ,,,,,,,, ahole

  • EyeAm

    Boycott, Repeal, then Impeach.

  • ASAC Schrader

    This is a Democrat and a half-man “helping”

  • patriot2947

    The morons that put this idiotic bill together obviously couldn’t gather more then two brain cells between them.

  • The Gimlet Eye

    You do realize, my friend, that the IRS can only legally extract that tax from unwilling payers by deducting it from one’s annual tax refund ? They cannot garnish wages, nor can they levy liens to collect. This is , of course, assuming that the obama regime will obey the law, which I grant you , is at best a 50/50 proposition.

  • The Gimlet Eye

    This dog’s breakfast was never about people having health care.

  • Greybeard1948

    That’s a good point. The same is true of the bible! I could have written the bible in like a page and a half, why are there so many words? Whomever wrote the bible clearly had other agendas in mind, otherwise why would they obfiscate so many of their points in wordy and unnecessary narratives?

  • Lore Earll

    So veterans are left to DIE and illegals are given whatever they want, the best care available, whenever they demand and no taxes, fees or fines are applied?? THEY’RE GIVEN AN EXEMPTION BY OBAMA?? Wow. A man’s priorities tell you alot.

  • khmichaels

    Totally a circus run by Democrats. So it is Democrat Corporate America that is to blame, with idiot in chief at the lead.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Of those 7 millioon, 67% get subsidies because of medicaid expansion, 20% have ‘citizenship issues’ with their paperwork, 15% have ‘eligibility problems’, etc… etc…. (all percentages are Dem percentages and are therefore biased in favor of Obama’s agenda by approx 300%).

  • Greybeard1948

    Where can illegals get the best care available? You mean like the best heart surgeon in the country will see them free of charge or what?

  • 39Mosin

    are illegals on the “exemption” list?
    well there ya go genius.

  • Jeffrey Gee

    …and you should be in a mental asylum.

  • Jeffrey Gee

    I wonder how many people the IRS will have to raid/audit to steal from the public?

  • Jack_Kennedy

    how many Real Americans are left …………. you know they won’t goosestep on ANY of bozo’s democrats

    and YOU just though you were going to be part of the opposition at election time ……….. YOU WILL GET ON BOARD………… OR ELSE!!!

  • Jack_Kennedy

    and NOW ………… i AM A MEXICAN

    now, I get free healthcare AND the exemption …………. love me some obama

    bring on michelle……………. I NEED MORE FREEBIES

  • MacAngheirr

    The sodomite would probably do more than that, don’t give it any ideas…

  • Edward


    IMMIGRATION = = = = = Just means LESS White people.

    MULTICULTURALISM = Just means LESS White people.

    DIVERSITY = = = = = = Just means LESS White people.

    INTEGRATION = = = = = Just means LESS White people.

    ASSIMILATION = = = = = Just means LESS White people.

    RACE-MIXING = = = = = Just means LESS White people.

    STOP WHITE geNOcide!

    Anti-Racist is a code for Anti-White

  • Pepeka

    whoa, back up dude- you’re not getting away that easy on misinformed comment, remember 85% of the people already had insurance they liked, it was the 15% of the people or 43 million uninsured we’re talking about, so now a around 25% of the uninsured now have health insurance and 75% of those uninsured are STILL uninsured – and THAT is reason enough to mingle with the total health care system and totally revamp it, mind you by having to lie about their true intentions and paying off people in their own party because it was in danger of not passing in the first place….oh the lies that had to be told in order to dupe the people in believing this travesty, tell me honestly, what real world experience did Obama have to believe that he had the best answer for America….NONE. Not one Republican voted for this, this is all on those who voted for it and now have voters regret. I can’t wait to see the blogs next year when the 85% of those already insured by their employers have to go through what the privately insured people had to go through last year…..oh yes, it will hit the fan which is why the big push to illegally push the mandate past the midterm elections. Are you still laughing funny boy???

  • Ted Kennedy’s SEARCH+RESCUE

    It’s For The Children.

  • Greybeard1948

    That isn’t what he said, he said illegals are given whatever they want, the best care available, I was just confirming he meant any and all health care providers are legally compelled to offer their services to any illegal free of charge, which is what he stated as fact. I just wanted to make sure that’s whats really going on as he stated.

  • TGrade1

    A law and a narrative are not the same.

  • TGrade1

    Agreed. It’s really about control.

  • George

    Socialized medicine is discusting and abominable since it takes the freedom of choice away from people. Even God himself allows people to make their own choices wether good or bad ones. But we still must reap the consequences of our choices also. Sincerely ;

  • TAG

    I’ve seen you guys posting on this but have done my own research and found what your are saying to be true.

    Disclosure I am mixed ethnicity Native American and European Immigrant (white American)


  • Ranger_Ric

    I along with millions upon millions of Americans will void this law through non-participation. I’m not submitting to 0banacare and I’m not paying them a dime.

    There is no enforcement mechanism to force me to, I won’t be overpaying my taxes.

    You stinking sub-human animals in the parasite class will have to find someone else to pay for your insurance.

  • haydenma

    So this was all for what?

  • 39Mosin

    Go to your neighborhood Emergency Room and you will find your answer.
    Also go to your local VA and you will see what the guy is referring to.

  • haydenma

    Its because God knew how stupid we were and would have to be told over and over, and given real life examples of what sin is, how it affects us, and why we need a savior. You obviously have not read the bible so you wouldn’t understand.

  • Leeza Lee

    I refuse to pay for something I am not receiving.

  • Leeza Lee

    I’m with you.

  • Leeza Lee

    The Bible is a compilation from many different writers.

  • Greybeard1948

    The best care available is not in the emergency room or the VA. Perhaps he meant something other than the best care available. And I’ve been to the emergency room, it’s not filled with illegal immigrants.

  • Greybeard1948

    So you won’t pay local school taxes if you don’t have children?

  • tcp53

    Go ahead, Democrats, run on this: Higher premiums. Higher prescription prices. Outrageous deductibles. Restricted choice of physicians. Fewer hospitals covered. Technicians performing exams instead of physicians.More people thrown off insurance plans than signed up for Obamcare. 30 MILLION still uninsured after full implementation of ACA……

  • tcp53

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson

    “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson

  • tcp53

    The Democratic Party has become, unfortunately, the OFFICIAL Party of tyranny….

  • tcp53


  • tcp53

    The dolt couldn’t have made it through community college if he didn’t have “Affirmative Action” ……

  • tcp53

    How would the Marxist-hijacked Democratic Party been able to hide all their socialist regulations and “crony” capitalism if the bill had only been 3 pages long??….

  • MickeyOregon

    This includes people who can’t afford insurance even with the subsidies. OBAMACARE folk told us that we unfortunately are a fairly large group of a few million that fall through the cracks. They expected it. Of course no one will run a story on this, will they?

  • AppleSeeder

    And ARREST!!!!

  • AppleSeeder

    This article doesn’t state it but neither do Muslims have to pay out. The word for it is something like dimnitude. Yes, it is in there!

  • AppleSeeder

    That’s right and many of these very same people are those who cannot find any full-time work and have had their current positions cut to under 30 hours per week, all thanks to ZeroNoCare!

  • Ken Kelly

    If you’re going to quote the CBO, quote the full projection: that’s 30 million uninsured instead of the 55 million who’d be uninsured without the ACA,

  • Ken Kelly
  • Ken Kelly

    No it isn’t. Open it in a PDF reader and look for it yourself. (“Dhimmitude”).

  • Ken Kelly
  • Ken Kelly

    It’ll be more like 40 million this year. It won’t get down to 30 million until 2016. Some of will be illegal aliens, some will be in the medicaid gap, and some just won’t bother.

  • Ken Kelly

    The individual mandate isn’t meant to pay for anything – its job is to prod enough young, healthy people into the individual market to keep it from going into a “death spiral”.

  • MickeyOregon

    Yep. I have to see a Dr twice a year – but with the plan that I would need I’d still have to pay for the visit and the lab work out of pocket (the deductible) which would make paying for the plan impossible – though it would be impossible anyway. Oh – and because of this act our company cut medical insurance to only dental.

  • MickeyOregon

    Good to know.
    I’ve missed them.
    I talk to people and their are either shocked or disbelieving or both.
    Thanks for the info.

  • TGrade1
  • jaz

    I bet half the kids graduating public school have no idea who Jefferson was, nor do they care. Justin Bieber on the other hand, is important. Congratulations democrats, everyone is ignorant now. You win!

  • Ken Kelly

    The legal text of the PPACA is at the link I posted. It is 906 pages long. Check it yourself. Your link points to a version from December 2009 with 24 lines per page and a massive font. I’d say 906 pages is a fairer indication of the length of the bill than the 2409 pages in the version you directed me to.

  • brunsk42

    So how exactly did you stop paying TAXES, I might be interested in following your lead..

  • Kim A

    I’m afraid people who are working hard are going to decide the effort isn’t worth it… thing will get better :)

  • EyeAm

    I highly doubt it. But, even if so: $90,000 per inmate per year for incarceration costs. Imagine if 1,000 martyrs stood up. Imagine if more said “No”. :-)

  • Pale Ryder

    A brief overview of the Obama regime’s attacks upon the good doctors of these united states:

  • johnsmith500

    He will enforce it, after the mid term elections.

  • Osaka Williams

    According to the AP, almost 5 million Americans have received insurance cancellation notices due to Obamacare.

  • Yonatan YONATAN


  • rudy46

    Straightforward methodology to benefit that is working for me, do a mission for ” Gold Trading Academy ” its swing trading the oil business and it positively works.

  • coalgateOps

    A brief introduction to the pure evil that is Obamacare:

  • Mark Uss

    Empathy? In this video we find out a little more regarding the Obama regime’s attacks upon a woman with cancer:

  • Mr. Sequel

    In this related video we find a brief overview of the serious security risks of the Obamacare Website:

  • internet

    I simply want to tell you that I am all new to blogging and site-building and truly enjoyed this web-site. Likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You definitely have wonderful well written articles. Many thanks for sharing with us your web page.

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