Biden touts record Obamacare sign-ups of 14.5M

Democrats want to extend supersized subsidies that boosted enrollment

President Biden said Thursday a record 14.5 million people signed up for private health insurance during Obamacare’s open enrollment season for the coming year after Democrats used a coronavirus-relief package to increase subsidies that defray the cost of premiums.

Mr. Biden said 10 million signed up on the federal website from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15 while the rest selected a plan on state-run websites, some of which will remain open for signups through the end of the month.

“This did not happen by accident. The American Rescue Plan did more to lower costs and expand access to health care than any action since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. It made quality coverage more affordable than ever —with families saving an average of $2,400 on their annual premiums, and four out of five consumers finding quality coverage for under $10 a month,” Mr. Biden said.

The supersized Obamacare subsidies last through 2022, so Mr. Biden is pushing to extend them at least through 2025 through his “Build Back Better” legislation that passed the House but ran into opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, in the evenly divided Senate.

Mr. Biden is pointing to the new enrollees to lobby for his bill, in essence daring Congress to take away the added benefit.

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