- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nearly 7.5 million Obamacare customers signed up on HealthCare.gov through Jan. 30, the administration said Wednesday in a weekly enrollment update that provided major metropolitan data for the first time.

The federal website serves residents of 37 states. Florida leads the way in 2015 plan selections, chalking up more than 1.3 million sign-ups compared to about 969,000 in Texas and roughly 480,000 in third-place North Carolina.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area ranked first among metro areas, with 637,514 sign-ups from Nov. 15 to Jan. 30.

The Atlanta, Dallas and Houston areas each tallied 250,000-300,000 sign-ups.

The Health and Human Services Department said it reviewed metro areas that have at least 725,000 residents and at least one county in a state that uses the federal exchange.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul- Bloomington region, which spans both Minnesota’s state-run exchange and Wisconsin, which uses the federal website, tallied the fewest sign-ups among metropolitan areas, with 3,675, according to HHS data.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell previewed the data during budget testimony Wednesday before the Senate Finance Committee. She said that besides HealthCare.gov customers, 2.4 million people have signed up on the portals run by 13 states and Washington, D.C.

However, Mrs. Burwell did not say whether her agency is working on a backup plan in case the Supreme Court strikes down the government subsidies that flow to nearly nine out of every 10 customers on the federal exchange.

The justices are set to rule by June on a lawsuit, King v. Burwell, which claims the Affordable Care Act restricted the subsidies to customers on the state-run exchanges.

Administration officials say Congress intended to treat every state the same and that an adverse ruling would make coverage unaffordable for millions of low- to moderate-income Americans.



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