1) The individual mandate only applies to those who can afford insurance but fail to do so. It's the government's way of saying "Hey, stupid. Get health insurance. You can afford it." People who fall below the minimum income to receive the ACA tax break either qualify for Medicaid or the fine is waived. People too poor to get insurance don't pay any fines. 2) small businesses have fired back at the mandate by reducing hours of employees to 30 hrs or less, so they have no full time employees, thus evade the fines incurred. The burden of the employer funded insurance is passed off to workers who are even more burdened by reduced hours and income who now have to get their own insurance, possibly without the tax break offered to impoverished Americans. Taken together, they're both BS that need to be fixed.