President Biden is taking executive action to shore up former President Barack Obama’s legacy on healthcare.
Biden will sign an executive order on Thursday directing the Department of Health and Human Services to reopen enrollment for the federal Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges via HealthCare.gov. The order gives members of the public in 36 states, without coverage, extra time to apply, targeting those who lost their insurance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The special enrollment period will run from Feb. 15 to May 15, after the initial period ended last month.
Former President Donald Trump promised during his 2016 campaign to dismantle the ACA, also known as Obamacare.
Trump’s administration cut funding to market enrollment periods and programs offering help to those struggling to understand the system. His team joined states, too, in arguing against the ACA’s constitutionality before the Supreme Court. But while hobbling the ACA, Trump was never able to repeal and replace the law in its entirety.
As part of Thursday’s healthcare focus, Biden will also sign a presidential memorandum that protects access to abortion in the United States and overseas.
Following a tradition established by Democratic presidents before him, Biden will rescind the “global gag rule,” or “the Mexico City Policy,” which prevents international non-profit organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals from receiving federal funding. That order also asks HHS to review its Title X family planning regulations.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki alluded to the move last week during a briefing.
“We’ll have more to say on the Mexico City Policy in the coming days. But I will just take the opportunity to remind all of you that he is a devout Catholic and somebody who attends church regularly,” Psaki said.
Author: Naomi Lim
Source: Washington Examiner: Biden to expand Obamacare, roll back anti-abortion Mexico City policy