The President, Administration officials, and congressional Democrats are trying to convince nine people with robes that the latest Obamacare signup numbers are evidence that possibly illegal subsidies are just fine. However, a better argument from the much-touted touted numbers might be this: if you offer someone something for free (or at a vastly reduced price) because of taxpayer subsidies, they very well might sign up for it. 

According to HHS, 11.4 million Americans signed up for ObamaCare coverage during this open enrollment period. Another 150,000 customers reportedly have applications pending in the cue following the website glitches we reported about yesterday which failed to verify income. 11.4 million is greater than the 9 million the Administration predicted but falls short of the 13 million estimate that the Congressional Budget Office predicted for year two of ObamaCare.

Either way, 11.4 million is likely to change as insurers weed out customers who signed up for coverage but do not pay their premiums. Then there will be those who fail to authenticate their immigration status. The taxpayer subsidies that some would be customers think they qualified for will be scaled back or eliminated too once incomes are verified.

Blasting these numbers out on social media and bragging about their success to press, HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell took the spotlight, patting some of her staff on the backs, and then going on to blast conservatives who aren’t as thrilled to have taxpayers picking up the tab for subsidies.  

Her “argument” is this: Based on enrollment figures, we can assume that Americans like ObamaCare and thus the Supreme Court should not inquire too much into whether the subsidies that make much of this liking possible are legal or not. Not exactly great legal scholarship, but what the heck?   

The Hill reports:

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell argued Wednesday that the 11.4 million sign-ups show the law “is now an important part of everyday lives of millions of Americans.”

“While we have more work to do, the numbers tell the story, and the story is clear. The Affordable Care Act is working and families and businesses and taxpayers are all better off as a result,” Burwell told reporters.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments next month on whether it is legal for subsidies to be distributed to people who buy health insurance on the federal exchange,

A ruling against the administration could stop people from getting subsidies in the 37 states that are on the federal exchange, which would deal a significant blow to ObamaCare.

At least 6.5 million people qualify for the subsidies so far this year, Burwell announced Wednesday. She also specifically praised strong sign-ups in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania – large states that stand to lose subsidies because they operate on the federal exchange. Both Florida and Texas exceeded 1 million signups.

“One thing is for sure, Americans don’t want the progress we’ve made to be taken away from them,” Burwell said as she broke down the numbers Wednesday.

This year’s signup period, which spanned November to February, ended up with several million more enrollees than last year, although it is several weeks shorter. It was also the first enrollment period for Burwell, who took the helm in June.

The Administration has some nerve to pat itself on the back. Of course people are signing up for ObamaCare. This is the first year that they will have to pay a penalty if they don’t sign up.  The current penalty can be as low as $95 but that penalty triples per person next year. This is because the un-Affordable Care Act mandates that every person in this country carry healthcare coverage.

It is responsible to carry health insurance, but the freedom and choice to make that decision should be left with the individual. That choice was stripped from us by ObamaCare. How do they justify yanking money out of the pockets of hardworking Americans and families to support a government program of which many may disapprove?

Furthermore, the majority of people who sign up for ObamaCare plans need taxpayer-funded subsidies to pay their premiums. With no subsidies, Americans wouldn’t sign up because they couldn’t afford the plans. This is why the administration is so intent on promoting enrollment numbers that very likely do not reflect how the majority of Americans really feel: if the Supreme Court fules that these subsidies aren’t legal, current clients will jump ship turning the president’s signature program into ObamaCare Titanic.

There’s nothing to gloat about here, Ms Burwell. Perhaps if we had real reform that drove healthcare prices down rather than just offer subsidies, Americans could afford private options that met their needs and fit their budgets – all not at the taxpayer expense.