Many Find Life Cheaper Without ObamaCare
For some, fines are cheaper than health insurance
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2016 2:38 PM CST
In this photo taken Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, Blue Bridge Benefits LLC agent Patricia Sarabia helps customers interested in Obama Care at a kiosk at Compare Foods in Winston-Salem, NC.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

(Newser) – A good number of Americans are opting to forgo health insurance altogether and pay a federal fine rather than buy ObamaCare, the New York Times reports. The reason? Insurance policies may cost more than the fine, deductibles can be high, and these people make too much money to get federal subsidies. "I don’t see the logic behind that, and I’m just not going to do it," says Texas resident Clint Murphy, who prefers to face an $1,800 fine in 2016 than buy insurance for at least $2,900. "The fine is still going to be cheaper." This despite the rise in fines for uninsured Americans, which started at $95 or 1% in household income in 2014, Lancaster Newspapers reports. This year, it's $695 for each adult or 2.5% of household income.

Others choosing to live without insurance say they're keeping as healthy as possible ("I leave my house; I go to work; I go to the pool; I go home," says a Dallas paralegal) or holding out for a full-time job with better insurance options. Despite these cases, the number of uninsured Americans is apparently declining: 2.5 million new customers bought HealthCare.gov insurance in late 2015, a 29% increase during the same period last year. Meanwhile, nonprofit hospitals are raking in money thanks to ObamaCare and the expansion of Medicaid, Forbes reported earlier this month. "Clinical volumes in 2015 were higher than anticipated, primarily reflecting the benefits of increased coverage under [ObamaCare]," says a Fitch Ratings report.