By Hal M. Bundrick
NEW YORK (MainStreet) The law of the land now goes as follows: either have healthcare insurance or pay a fine. Yet more than one in four Americans say they would rather pony up the penalty. A new Gallup poll reveals that 28% of those surveyed have no intention of signing up for health insurance, as required by the Affordable Care Act and will pay the fine instead.
The penalty in 2014 for remaining uninsured is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or 1% of taxable income (up to $285 for a family), whichever is greater.
Fully 17% of U.S. adults currently do not have health insurance, according to Gallup. With the self-proclaimed holdouts who say they will refuse coverage, at least 5% of all U.S. adults will remain uninsured.
According to the nearly 4,000 interviews conducted with uninsured Americans since September, more than one quarter (26%) under the age of 30 say they are more likely to pay the fine, compared with 30% of those aged 30 and older.
The holdouts may be standing on political principles rather than being unable to afford coverage. Nearly half (45%) of uninsured Republicans plan to pay the fine, compared with 31% of independents and 15% of Democrats.
"For many uninsured Americans, particularly Republicans, the decision to pay the fine could be a form of protest against the law," Jeffrey M. Jones writes in an analysis for Gallup. "It is unclear whether that protest will extend only as far as their response to this survey question, or will extend to their actual behavior when the deadline to get insurance arrives."