Biden to roll back Trump’s abortion restrictions, Obamacare

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has started to reverse anti-abortion measures put in place by the Trump administration and decided to strengthen the Affordable Care Act after four years of efforts to dismantle one of the major legislative achievements of Biden as vice president.

Biden on Thursday signed an executive order ordering federal agencies to reverse policies put in place by the Trump administration that have weakened the health insurance market and made it more hard for people to get Medicaid.

Biden also issued a presidential memorandum rescinding Mexico City’s policy, also known as the global gag rule, which prohibits U.S. public funds from going to international organizations that provide abortion services, and called on the Department of Health and Social Services to reconsider the policies put in place. place that limits funding to groups in the United States that provide abortion and family planning services.

“The best way to describe them is to right the damage Trump has done,” Biden said of the executive orders. “There is nothing new that we are doing here, other than restoring the Affordable Care Act and restoring Medicaid to the way it was before Trump became president, only by executive order he changed and made more inaccessible. “

Biden’s actions on healthcare and abortion are among the many ways he erased the iconic accomplishments of his predecessor and restored the policies of the Obama administration. After just over a week in office, Biden halted construction of the border wall, joined the Paris Climate Pact, and lifted the Trump administration’s ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries.

Former President Donald Trump failed to get Congress to repeal Obamacare, but took steps to weaken the law by making it harder to get coverage, especially for low-income people . But because Trump’s actions have been driven by executive branch rather than legislation, Biden will be able to overturn many of them quickly and unilaterally.

Under the executive order Biden signed on Thursday, the health The market will be open for a special three-month registration period starting February 15 for people to get the health care coverage they need during the pandemic.

The order also directs agencies to reconsider Trump administration policies that undermine and make it more difficult for people to enroll in Medicaid or the health insurance plans and make insurance less affordable.

The Trump administration had cut the advertising and awareness budget for federally backed health insurance markets and shortened the length of time people had to buy insurance. The Trump administration also removed subsidies to help insurers reduce out-of-pocket expenses for low-income people.

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One change Trump made to Obamacare that will be more difficult to tackle, however, has been the elimination of the tax penalty for those without insurance. This was wiped out in the 2017 tax overhaul passed by Congress, so it should be reinstated by law. The penalty was intended to encourage people to purchase insurance.

During Trump’s presidential campaign, he repeatedly promised that a healthcare plan would arrive in a matter of weeks, but no such plan with any level of detail has ever been released.

Biden’s presidential abortion memorandum immediately overturns the Mexico City policy, originally put in place by President Ronald Reagan and reinstated by Trump. It also orders the Department of Health and Human Services to take immediate action to consider whether to reverse regulations under its Title X family planning program, which under the Trump administration has cut millions of dollars. federal funds for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

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