HHS Secretary Burwell tours Philly, confident Obamacare will win at Supreme Court

     HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell (right) and Sister Mary Scullion of Project Home

    HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell (right) and Sister Mary Scullion of Project Home

    The Obama Administration is confident it will prevail in the latest Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act. 

    During a visit Monday to the Klein Wellness Center in North Philadelphia, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said the law clearly means to provide subsidies to those who qualify in every state. The nation’s highest court is set to hear arguments on a glitch in the ACA’s language that suggests only people in states that operate their own exchanges should qualify for the tax credits.

     

    “We don’t think that the Congress and the people that wrote the law, in any way, intended that people in New York that has a state exchange get funding — their citizens get help —  but people in New Jersey, next door, don’t get that help,” said Burwell.

    Burwell thanked staff and volunteers during an enrollment event, and reminded the audience the deadline to sign up for health insurance for this year through the law is February 15th.

    She says the federal government continues to streamline the application process, and hopes to “meet consumers where they are,” be it in person, online, through mobile devices, or face-to-face. She says the law is already making an impact.

    “Defining success is about three three things: affordability, access, and quality. And we are moving forward on all three of those fronts, and while there is more work certainly to be done, I think it is fair to say that progress has been made on all three,” she said.

    While the law remains unpopular in opinion polls, Burwell aruges that has more to do with how the law gets covered in the media than its actual effect.

    “For the American people, we owe them the conversation on the substance, and I think when we have the conversation on the substance, that’s when they will understand.”

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