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Biden Day Seven – President Biden Takes Executive Action to Strengthen the Affordable Care Act and Other Healthcare Programs

January 28, 2021

Today, President Biden signed an executive order and published a presidential memorandum seeking to improve access to the health insurance markets created by the Affordable Care Act, reverse certain Trump Administration healthcare policies, and to protect access to reproductive health services. The action comes on the seventh business day since the administration took office, a day dedicated to addressing broad healthcare issues, as opposed to the more acute pandemic measures that were taken on days one and two. Although not sweeping policy changes, President Biden signals ownership of the Affordable Care Act, which he as President Obama’s vice president shepherded, and rings in a new era of leadership that seeks to strengthen the law rather than repeal and replace it. The following is a summary and link to each of today’s actions:

1. Executive Order – Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Outlines steps to reverse Trump Administration policies related to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and improve access to health insurance coverage.

  • ACA Exchange Special Enrollment Period: Directs the Department of Health and Human Services through the site to establish and open a Special Enrollment Period from February 15, 2021 – May 15, 2021.
  • Reversing Trump Administration Policies: Directs federal agencies to examine actions taken by the previous Administration that they deem to have impeded access to healthcare or health insurance by reconsidering policies related to: preexisting conditions, Medicaid work requirements, health insurance marketplace marketing, health insurance marketplace and Medicaid open enrollment, and access to financial assistance for insurance coverage.
  • In addition to the actions outlined above, President Biden has directed relevant agencies to make recommendations to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and other public health insurance programs to expand access to coverage and services.

2. Presidential Memorandum – Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad. Seeks to support national and global access to reproductive services by rescinding the Mexico City Policy, that blocks U.S. funding to non-profits that provide abortion counseling or referrals and directs the Department of Health and Human Services to consider rescinding additional regulations under its Title X family planning program.

FACT SHEET: President Biden to Sign Executive Orders Strengthening Americans’ Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care | The White House

Remarks by President Biden at Signing of Executive Orders Strengthening Americans' Access to Quality, Affordable Healthcare | The White House

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Troy A. Barsky
Partner & CHS Managing Director – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2890
James G. Flood
Partner – Washington, D.C.
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W. Scott Douglas
Senior Policy Director – Washington, D.C.
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Stacie Heller
Senior Policy Director – Washington, D.C.
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Tim Shadyac
Director, Government Affairs – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2958