Paying for "Obamacare"
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sue Anglin has seen the ups and downs of life.
The 60-year-old was laid off last year. Now, she is out of a job and out of health insurance.
"Since I have been of this age that I am now and faced with the prospects of buying my own insurance through the private sector," said Anglin, "it's become so difficult because it is extremely expensive and I'm just saying if this law goes into effect the way I understand it now, it's going to be a hardship for me."
Anglin is referring to the new federal health care law. She and virtually all of US residents will have to have health insurance by 2014. If not, they'll face a financial penalty collected by the IRS.
New numbers from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office finds that six million Americans will likely have to pay that penalty.
"People who are affected by it are the so-called "working poor," said Peter Kongstvedt of George Mason University. "They are working. They're making some income. They're making enough that they wouldn't be eligible for Medicaid but it's real hand-to-mouth. It's day-to-day living on their part."
Starting off in 2014, the penalty will be capped at $285 per family or one percent of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, though, that jumps to $2,085 per family or 2.5 percent of income.
Even some of those who work in the health care industry can't afford family health insurance.
"If you don't have any income, how are you gonna pay the federal tax?" asked Susan Geurin, a health care worker. "To me, it's a no brainer - if there's no money, there's no money."
The Department of Health and Human Services is quick to point out that 98 percent of Americans will not be impacted by the penalty and that through state exchanges, health insurance will become more affordable.
The Obama administration said in a statement:"The health care law creates a new marketplace where consumers can purchase private health insurance and get tax credits to make insurance more affordable. Thanks to the health care law, more than 20 million middle-class people and families will get a significant tax cut averaging about $4,000."