Biden to sign executive orders expanding healthcare access — including reopening enrollment for Obamacare

Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty ImagesUS President Joe Biden preparing to sign executive orders on Wednesday after speaking about climate change.
  • President Joe Biden plans to sign executive orders on healthcare.
  • One order will lift the “global gag order” prohibiting aid groups from discussing abortion.
  • Another will reopen enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Joe Biden plans to sign executive orders Thursday seeking to increase access to healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump, balked at encouraging enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, the law better known as Obamacare — leaving the new administration with $US1 billion in leftover funds to do just that.

Accordingly, one executive order will reopen enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges from February 15 to May 15.

Typically, the sign-up period is limited to a few weeks at the end of each year, forcing those who have undergone major life events at a later point — the loss of employer-provided insurance, for example — to submit additional documentation to get coverage.

The executive order will also direct federal agencies to reexamine policies that make it more difficult to obtain coverage under the ACA or Medicaid.

Under the Trump administration, states were granted waivers allowing them to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients; those requirements, implemented in Arkansas and New Hampshire, have been struck down by judges in a case that’s headed to the Supreme Court.

The last administration also sought to enable states to divert funding from Medicaid to other priorities.

Biden will also sign an executive order meant to expand access to reproductive healthcare — at home and abroad — with a review of his predecessor’s regulations limiting federal funding for Planned Parenthood and a lifting of the ban on international aid organisations that receive US funding from discussing abortion.

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