But what many Americans don’t realize is that the individual mandate would affect fewer than 2 of every 100 people, according to the best estimates. When all is said and done, a few Americans might still refuse to buy insurance — and nothing much will happen to them. There are exceptions for religious objectors and people who still cannot afford a plan. And the law includes only weak fines for mandate violators — token fines the Internal Revenue Service is at this point forbidden to enforce. The mandate brouhaha is truly much ado about almost nothing.