HHS chief hails new ObamaCare numbers in appeal to court

HHS chief hails new ObamaCare numbers in appeal to court

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell hailed new ObamaCare enrollment numbers on Monday, pressing the Supreme Court not to gut the healthcare law. 

She said at a White House event that 11.7 million people had signed up for insurance under ObamaCare's marketplaces through the extended period of Feb. 22. That is up from the 11.4 million people previously announced through Feb. 15. 

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Burwell directly addressed the case of King v. Burwell, which was argued before the Supreme Court last week and could strip subsidies from 7.5 million people in the roughly three dozen states using federal marketplaces under ObamaCare. 

"We’re confident that we will prevail in the court," she said.

"The law is clear. The text and structure of the Affordable Care Act demonstrates that individuals in every state are eligible for tax credits," she added.

Burwell highlighted the enrollment numbers in states that use the federal marketplace and would lose subsidies if the high court upholds the plantiffs' challenge. 

Almost 1.5 million Floridians receive an average subsidy of $294 a month, she said. More than a million Texans get an average of $239. More than 500,000 North Carolinians get $315. 

"These numbers show just how important the tax credits are to millions of Americans and to the insurance markets in those states," she said. 

Burwell also questioned the motives of the conservative groups and Republican lawmakers who support the lawsuit.

"Those who support this lawsuit believe that the law should be dismantled or repealed and they are content to roll back the progress that we have achieved together," she said.