Nearly 4 million Americans — the vast majority of them middle class — will have to pay the new penalty for not getting health insurance when President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law kicks in, according to congressional estimates released Thursday.
The penalties will average a little more than $1,000 apiece in 2016, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report.
Most of the people paying the fine will be middle class. Obama pledged in 2008 not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000.
Republicans have criticized the penalties, even though the idea for a mandate was originally proposed by the GOP in the 1990s and is part of the Massachusetts health care plan signed into law in 2006 by then Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican. Attorneys general in more than a dozen states are working to challenge the mandate in
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