Following the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the health care reform law under Congress’ taxing power, Republicans misconstrued its individual mandate as a “massive tax hike” on the middle class. This week, after the Congressional Budget Office upped its estimate on the number of Americans who are expected to face a penalty in 2016 for failing to purchase health insurance — increasing their original 4 million figure to 6 million — conservative outlets once again lamented the middle class families who will be “hit with a tax hike.”
But the revised 6 million figure does not mean the health care law puts a strain on the middle class. In fact, Obamacare will provide millions of families with large tax credits to help make health care more affordable for them, and the penalty will only be leveled against those Americans who choose not to purchase insurance even though they are able to afford it. The penalty from the individual mandate is projected to affect just 2 percent of the American population. The Center for American Progress shows how Obamacare represents a major tax cut for many families, even with the CBO’s new estimate:
The CBO pointed out that some of the increase in their revised figure reflects Republican governors’ opposition to expanding the Medicaid program in their states to provide more of their low-income residents with health coverage.