Thursday, President Joe Biden signed two executive orders restoring the Obama-era Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid, and reversing Donald Trump’s ban on federal funds to international NGOs that help women undergo abortions in critical circumstances.
Biden said the executive orders are “basically, the best way to describe them, to undo the damage Trump has done.”
“This afternoon, I took action to restore and strengthen Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care. The issue is personal to me — and now more than ever, I’m committed to ensuring everyone has access to the care they need,” he later tweeted.
Biden said that millions of people who are potentially eligible for coverage under the ACA or other laws currently remain uninsured, and obtaining insurance benefits is more difficult.
Biden revoked Trump’s Executive Order minimizing the economic burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
According to the White House, Affordable Care Act will ensure that an insurance company will not deny coverage or charge higher premiums to more than 100 million people just because they have a pre-existing condition. Young people transitioning from school to a job can stay covered by their parents’ plan until age 26.
Based on this order, the Department of Health will open HealthCare.gov for a Special Enrollment Period, from February 15 to May 15, to provide Americans that need health care coverage during the pandemic the opportunity to sign up.
Concerned agencies have been urged to immediately review policies or practices that may undermine the Health Insurance Marketplace or the individual, small group, or large group markets for health insurance in the United States.
It is estimated that pandemic-related layoffs have led to at least 5 million Americans losing their health insurance in the past year.
Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum to protect and expand access to reproductive health care. It directs the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately consider removing Trump-era restrictions to Title X family planning program for low-income Americans. Biden also revoked a presidential Memorandum that his predecessor signed on January 23, 2017, known as the Mexico City Policy.
The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibits nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from using Federal funds “to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning, or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” While Democrat Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama rescinded these restrictions, President Trump substantially expanded them.
Trump’s overhaul of the Title X program saw tens of millions of dollars stripped from any health centers that offered or referred patients for non-elective abortions, like Planned Parenthood.
Biden asked the concerned departments to immediately waive conditions on granting federal funds.
Biden also ordered the United States’ withdrawal from the Geneva Consensus Declaration, an international charter that opposes abortion.
He asked the Secretary of State to resume funding to the United Nations Population Fund, and work with the Administrator of USAID and across U.S. Government’s foreign assistance programs to ensure that adequate funds are being directed to support women’s health needs globally.
Biden said it is the policy of his Administration to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally.
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