(Bloomberg Politics) — To hear the White House tell it, 11.4 million Americans can’t be wrong.
President Obama trumpeted the success of his signature health car law on Tuesday, releasing a video on Facebook that boasted that 11.4 million people who have signed up or re-enrolled in Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange plans in 2015. Sunday was the official deadline for most Americans to sign up for individual major medical coverage.
“The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is working,” Obama said in a video shot in the Oval Office featuring the president and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “It’s working better than we anticipated, certainly working a lot better than many of the critics talked about early on.”
While the number of people signed up for health care through the PPACA exchange system has given the White House reason to celebrate, the administration has reason to worry about whether the news will remain positive for PPACA. With the April 15 tax deadline approaching, an estimated 6 million Americans are expected to face a penalty for not enrolling in a health care plan. While, for most of the people affected, the 2014 penalty will be 1 percent of income, the rate will rise in 2015 to 2 percent of income.
Even more troubling for the health care law, the Supreme Court will soon begin hearing arguments in the King vs. Burwell case, which will decide the ultimate fate of the program’s federal subsidies. If the court rules the subsidies unconstitutional, millions of Americans will lose their insurance and costs are expected to skyrocket.