While the fine for 2014 was small (the higher of $95 or 1% of your income) in 2015 that fine rises to $325, or 2% of income. For a family of 3 with a household income of $50,000 thats $1000 fine!. Now, it is nowhere as expensive as purchasing the health insurance, BUT a family of 3 with that income would get a substantial subsidy – so the price difference between having health insurance, and paying the fine, would be much smaller.
Despite all the Rhetoric there are still “tens of millions of people” without insurance.
How will they collect the fines? Thats unclear. There are about 30 different hardship-based exemptions (which you have to apply for), and it is unclear at this point how aggressively the IRS will pursue the fines.