President Joe Biden issued two executive orders on Jan. 28 intended to strengthen access to high quality, affordable health care. The first reopens enrollment into the Health Insurance Marketplace and takes steps to strengthen Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while the second expands access to reproductive health care.
A press release announcing the executive orders noted, “For President Biden, this is personal. He believes that every American has a right to the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have access to affordable, quality health care. … Reliable and affordable access to health insurance doesn’t just benefit families’ health; it is a critical source of economic security and peace of mind for all.”
The executive order on strengthening Medicaid and the ACA calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to open HealthCare.gov for a Special Enrollment Period from Feb. 15 to May 15 to provide an opportunity for people to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
It also directs agencies to reexamine rules and other policies that limit access to care, including:
- Policies that undermine protections for people with preexisting conditions, including complications related to COVID-19.
- Medicaid and ACA waivers and demonstrations that would reduce coverage, including work requirements.
- Policies that undermine the Health Insurance Marketplace or other health insurance markets.
- Policies that make it more difficult to enroll in Medicaid and the ACA.
- Policies that reduce affordability of coverage, including for dependents.