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

  • President Biden will sign executive orders rescinding his predecessor's restrictions on healthcare access.
  • One order will lift the "global gag order" prohibiting aid groups from discussing abortion.
  • Another will reopen enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.
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President Joe Biden will sign executive orders on Thursday aimed at increasing access to healthcare during the pandemic.

As Insider reported, Biden's predecessor balked at encouraging enrollment in the Affordable Care Act — leaving the new administration with $1 billion in leftover funds to do just that.

Accordingly, one executive order will reopen enrollment in the program 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 go through the hurdle of submitting additional documentation in order to get coverage.

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

Under the previous 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 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 organizations that receive US funding from discussing abortion.

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