President Joe Biden will issue a series of executive actions Thursday that target abortion restrictions and provide additional opportunities for Americans to enroll in health insurance programs.
The abortion presidential memorandum will “immediately” rescind the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits non-profit organizations from receiving funding from the federal government if they provide abortion services. The memo also directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to perform a review of Title X family planning regulations. (RELATED: Biden Refocusing National Security Around Climate Change — Here’s What His Latest Executive Orders Do)
“Across the country and around the world, people — particularly women, Black, Indigenous and other people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and those with low incomes — have been denied access to reproductive health care,” the White House wrote in a statement Thursday morning. “The memorandum reflects the policy of the Biden-Harris Administration to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally.” (RELATED: Biden Vows To ‘Codify’ Roe V. Wade, Appoint Pro-Roe Judges On Anniversary Of Case)
Biden’s second action, an executive order titled “Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act,” directs HHS to open HealthCare.gov for a special three-month enrollment period beginning Feb. 15.
The order also outlines five additional, specific directives meant to “boost” access to health insurance programs, including:
- Policies that undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including complications related to COVID-19
- Demonstrations and waivers under Medicaid and the ACA that may reduce coverage or undermine the programs, including work requirements
- Policies that undermine the Health Insurance Marketplace or other markets for health insurance
- Policies that make it more difficult to enroll in Medicaid and the ACA
- Policies that reduce affordability of coverage or financial assistance, including for dependents
“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,” the White House wrote. “The actions the President is taking today complement the commitment he made in the American Rescue Plan to make health insurance coverage more affordable for millions of Americans. 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.”