Based on the myriad exceptions to the Obamacare mandate/penalty/tax–including the hardship that health insurance is too expensive due to Obamacare–WSJ reports that only 4 million will actually pay the penalty in 2016:
The Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine based on hardships, including suffering domestic violence, experiencing substantial property damage from a fire or flood, and having a canceled insurance plan. Those come on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects.
Factoring in the new exemptions, the congressional report in June lowered the number of people it expects to pay the fine in 2016 to four million, from its previous projection of six million. Also bringing down the total: At least 21 states have opted not to expand the Medicaid insurance program for lower earners under the health law, and those residents may be exempt from the penalty.
Don’t forget. It is only a tax on not having insurance. Not a penalty!
The article also notes that if Halbig is successful, roughly four million people in 36 states would be ineligible for subsidies.
More than 4 million Americans get subsidies on the federal exchange used by up to 36 states. If the subsidies ultimately are struck down, more people could qualify for hardship exemptions based on their inability to afford coverage.