- (Photo: Reuters: Joshua Roberts)
In response to a Congressional Budget Office report noting that 6 million people will pay a tax penalty when the Affordable Care Act fully takes effect, progressives have taken to defending the health care law from this most recent criticism.
A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Human Services provided The Christian Post with a statement regarding the CBO report.
"This report confirms that more than 98 percent of Americans won't be affected by this penalty. And this update 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," read the statement.
"At the same time, the health care law provides a significant tax cut averaging about $4,000 for more than 20 million middle class people and families and cuts taxes for small businesses."
Tara Culp-Ressler of the website Think Progress also focused on the positives of the ACA, writing Thursday afternoon that the health care law "is still a massive tax cut for the middle class."
"But the revised 6 million figure does not mean the health care law puts a strain on the middle class," wrote Culp Ressler.
"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."
On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report stating that 6 million uninsured people would be penalized under the Affordable Care Act.
The estimate was much larger than the one the CBO gave back in 2010, when its report said that 4 million would be affected by the tax penalty. CBO credited the 50 percent increase to a slow economy.
The Seattle Times, which endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 for president, said in an editorial board column that the numbers could harm President Obama's signature legislation's survivability.
"The ACA has been creaking along through the courts and through the presidential election campaign. Any more wild swings in the numbers could put the health-care law in intensive care," said the Times.
Bob Beauprez, former member of Congress and current columnist at the conservative website Townhall.com, wrote that this CBO report showed that President Obama breaks his promises.
"The CBO further predicts that the average penalty will be $1,200 per year, and that nearly 80 percent of those forced to pay the penalty-tax would be middle or lower-income wage earners," wrote Beauprez.
"Barack Obama continues his phony claim as the protector of the middle class, but the facts contradict his assertion."
In June, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a five to four decision that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional. According to a poll taken by Gallup following the decision, Americans were found to be evenly split on the court's decision, with 46 percent saying they agreed and 46 percent saying they disagreed with the court.