In the coming weeks, Americans will embark on the painful process of filing their tax returns. While this annual ritual leaves most people confused, depressed and overwhelmed, many will be faced with the additional step this year of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars if they chose not to purchase health insurance under ObamaCare for 2014.

Under the individual mandate required by the president’s new health care law, Americans for the first time must pay the higher of two penalties if they are uninsured and did not enroll in ObamaCare last year—either $95 per adult and $47.50 per child under 18, or 1 percent of their yearly household income above the $10,000 tax filing threshold. That means an individual earning $50,000 will face a penalty of $400 this year, and fines could reach up to $2,448 per person or up to $12,240 for a family of five.

Health care should be based on the fundamental principle of freedom, and Americans should be able to have the ability to make their own health care decisions without fear that the government will extract onerous penalties from them.

Unfortunately, these penalty rates will only continue to climb. Next year, penalties will more than double for those who do not enroll in ObamaCare in 2015, costing the same individual earning $50,000 per year a whopping $800, and families up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Health care should be based on the fundamental principle of freedom, and Americans should be able to have the ability to make their own health care decisions without fear that the government will extract onerous penalties from them.

No American should be forced into the president’s one-size-fits-all health care mandate. Health care should be based on the fundamental principle of freedom, and Americans should be able to have the ability to make their own health care decisions without fear that the government will extract onerous penalties from them.

That is why we reintroduced The ObamaCare Opt-Out Act of 2014 in the Senate last week, important legislation that will allow Americans to opt-out of the individual mandate for health insurance coverage required by ObamaCare. This bill would allow individuals to either notify their state or the federal health care exchange, or use their tax filing to opt-out of ObamaCare and avoid the penalty.  According to the tax-services provider H&R Block, this would impact about 4 million uninsured Americans in 2015.

After four years of ObamaCare, hardworking Americans continue to see their health care costs rise while their coverage choices diminish. It is far past time for American families to once again have the freedom to make their own decisions about what is best for their families.

As the 114th Congress gets underway, we will continue to make this bill a priority and work to restore Americans’ freedom to buy affordable health insurance that works for them because they know what’s best for their families, not the Obama administration.

Republican John McCain represents Arizona in the United States Senate. 

Republican John Barrasso represents Wyoming in the U.S. Senate. He serves in the Senate as a member of both the Energy and Environment Committees. Follow him on Twitter@Sen.JohnBarrasso.