Do you remember how during tax season President Obama unilaterally extended the ObamaCare enrollment deadline out of fear that Americans were unaware of the tax penalty they faced?

Turns out it was a waste of time – surprise, surprise.

Only about 144,000 Americans used the extension to apply for healthcare coverage through during the special “tax season” enrollment period. They comprise about 15 percent of the total 1 million people enrolled in the last signup bonanza. Earlier in the spring, we reported that enrollment efforts during this special grace period were failing expectations. These final numbers confirm that that the extra grace period was not as productive as the administration hoped.

The reasoning behind the one-time grace period was that many Americans were uninformed about the penalties attached to ObamaCare that kicked in for the first time this year for those without any healthcare coverage. The federal special enrollment season extended two weeks following tax day and was predicted to bring in more than 200,000 people. Almost a dozen other states also permitted extended enrollment seasons as well.

That Americans bypassed ObamaCare despite learning that they may face the tax penalty tells us a couple things. First, even a penalty is not enough to lure them into ObamaCare. The tax penalty this year was $95 or 1 percent of household income. That nearly triples in 2016 to $325 or 2 percent of household income.

Second, it indicates that increasing enrollment from this point out will grow increasingly more difficult.

The Hill reports:

The smaller-than-expected number signals a tough battle ahead for the Obama administration as it tries to help millions of uninsured people sign up for healthcare coverage to avoid the individual mandate fine.

About 12 percent of people remain uninsured in the U.S., according to a Gallup poll released this week — approximately 29 million. Since ObamaCare, about 15 million have gained insurance.

This year’s grace period is a one-time deal, as officials have said there would be no “tax season” enrollment period in future years.

The 143,934 signups are in addition to the 10 million people who signed up for coverage during the regular enrollment period — a figure that meets the administration’s goal but comes short of a previous estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.

Half of late applicants had experienced a loss of coverage, while 19 percent said they were determined ineligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program in their state.

Another 800,000 people were allowed to apply late because they had been given an incorrect tax form from the Obama administration — an error that renewed GOP criticism of the Department of Health and Human Services's ability to handle complex tax changes under ObamaCare.

Overall, more than 900,000 signed up for ObamaCare coverage from February 23 through the end of the special enrollment season according to Health and Human Services (HHS), which are those with special circumstances.

So is the tax penalty enough of a motivation to sign up? The tepid responses says no, but as some health experts saying that a $95 penalty may not be big enough to nudge healthy Americans into a system that is weighed against many of us. We’ll see what $325 penalty does next tax season and of course in 2017 when the penalty for not carrying coverage in the 2016 election year will $695 of 2.5 percent of income.

Politico notes:

Experts are waiting to see if that compels more of the 20 million-plus uninsured Americans remaining to sign up.

"The individual mandate is the real wild card here. Some people point to the special enrollment period during tax season as an indication that the individual mandate is not looming large in people's minds. But I think that is not a good test," Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told National Journal last month. "I think 2016 will be the first real-world test of a tough individual mandate."

We’ve always held that ObamaCare is not a good deal for taxpayers, businesses, or the economy. That the Obama Administration has done everything to get enrollments up and still so many Americans reject it tells us that ObamaCare has failed to provide the affordable healthcare access solution that Americans desire and that has not changed.