Biden executive orders open up ACA enrollment, rescind Mexico City Policy
President Biden has issued an executive order that mandates the Department of Health and Human Services to open a special insurance enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act to help individuals and families access insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order reopens the ACA insurance enrollment period for three months to allow people without insurance to find coverage.
“We are cheered by this action from the Biden administration and are excited to work with them to build a health care system that works for everyone in this country,” said National Health Law Program Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor.
A second executive order rescinds the global abortion gag rule, which bars international non-profits from receiving U.S. funding if they provide abortion counseling or referrals.
Known as the Mexico City Policy, this global gag rule bars U.S. funding to non-profits that provide abortion counseling or referrals.
“Women, Black, Indigenous and people of color, LGBTQ-GNC people, and those with low incomes face significant barriers to access health care, including abortion. This is true across the United States and around the world,” said National Health Law Program senior attorney Fabiola Carrión. “Abortion is health care. Full stop! And gag rules and funding restrictions, whether foreign or domestic, cut off access to critical care. Ideology should never come between a patient and the advice of health care professionals.”
The League of Women Voters of the United States is also weighing in on the moves.
“Today’s health care announcements from the White House demonstrate the new administration’s commitment to quality and affordable health care for all Americans,” LWV President Dr. Deborah Ann Tuner said. “Opening a special enrollment period will offer health care access to thousands of individuals whose health care has been impacted by COVID-19. The League is encouraged by the priorities of strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, as well as protecting women’s health.
“The League has long believed that all U.S. residents should have access to affordable, quality health care, including birth control and the freedom to make private reproductive choices. Women and particularly Black women, Indigenous and other people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and those with low incomes have long been denied access to appropriate, quality, nonjudgmental reproductive health care. We commend the new administration for making health care a top priority, especially during the battle against COVID-19.”