The penalty will be low for the first few years in order to make obamacare seem like a not-so-bad thing. But by 2015, I believe, the penalty will be extremely high and since the IRS is really running the show, the penalty will become quite severe. Remember that there are three tiers to the the exchanges: gold, silver and bronze. You can guess which is best......just know that bronze, which will probably cost about $2500 in premiums will not be accepted by most MDs because of the cost to the MD. So essentially, if you go for "affordable" healthcare, you will be subjugated to seeking care from second or third-rate facilities that will actually take. Bear in mind I am a disabled vet with full access to VA healthcare and it takes 6-8 weeks to get an appointment and the bedside manner is vacant. Yet, I received a letter from the VA informing me that the VA healthcare delivery system is far above the minimum requirements for healthcare provision according to the obamacare plan.