Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

June 6 (Bloomberg) — Four million people are projected to pay the  penalty for not carrying health insurance next year, about one-third less than previously estimated, after the Obama administration created exemptions from the fine.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to carry insurance starting this year, or pay a tax of as much as 1 percent of income. The Congressional Budget Office lowered its estimate of the number of people who will pay that fine in a report released yesterday, saying the government will take in $3 billion less than expected from the payments.

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