Nearly 4M to pay health insurance penalty by 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - New congressional projections show that nearly 4 million Americans will have to pay a penalty for not getting health insurance when that provision of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is fully phased in.

The vast majority of those who must pay will be middle class, which would violate Obama's 2008 campaign pledge not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year.

The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that the penalties will average a little more than $1,000 apiece in 2016. Americans who don't get qualified health insurance will be required to pay penalties starting in 2014, unless they are exempt because of low incomes. The penalties will be fully phased in by 2016.

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