• Thursday, Feb 09, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Biden reopens Obamacare, cites damage from Trump

  • Published at 08:03 am January 29th, 2021
US President Joe Biden signs executive orders strengthening access to affordable healthcare at the White House in Washington, US, January 28, 2021 Reuters

Biden also rescinded the 'Mexico City Policy' that bans US funding for international non-profit organizations that provide abortion counseling

US President Joe Biden on Thursday reopened the nation's online health insurance marketplace for people who cannot obtain coverage through their employers, in a move he said was aimed at undoing "damage" done by his predecessor Donald Trump.

In an executive order, Biden restored access to healthcare.gov, allowing Americans to sign up for insurance through the government exchange from Feb 15 to May 15, the White House said. The program is normally accessible for just six weeks in the fall.

Biden, who took office last week, also directed federal agencies to "re-examine" Trump-era policies like work requirements that made it more difficult for people to qualify for Medicaid, the government-run health insurance program for the poor.

The actions were the latest in a blizzard of moves by the new Democratic president to reverse the policies of the Republican Trump.

"Today I'm about to sign two executive orders - basically the best way to describe them - to undo the damage Trump has done," Biden said in the Oval Office.

Also Read - Biden scraps ban on US funds for abortion counseling

He also rescinded the "Mexico City Policy" that bans US funding for international non-profit organizations that provide abortion counseling.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the decision as “a powerful message to women and girls around the world that their rights matter.”

Biden has vowed to shore up programs created under former President Barack Obama's sweeping 2010 Affordable Care Act, arguing that the changes are urgent because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 430,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.

Coronavirus priority

Biden has made battling the virus a priority of his first days in office and proposed a new $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package for individuals and businesses on top of $4 trillion in aid approved last year.

The US Senate and House will begin moving forward on the plan next week, but Republicans and some Democrats have balked at the cost.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said after Thursday's signing that Biden has been having calls with lawmakers on the legislation and said there is no intention to split the bill into two to ease passage.

She also said the Department of Health and Human Services will amend rules to allow recently retired doctors and nurses to administer the coronavirus vaccine to Americans, as it seeks to speed up the roll-out across the country.

Republicans said the move undercut Biden's promise to work with both parties.

"These actions will not create the unity President Biden spoke about in his inaugural address," Republican Representative Michael Burgess said.

Republicans have long criticized the law as too intrusive and expensive. They tried and failed to repeal it in 2017, when they controlled both chambers of Congress.

The Trump administration reduced spending on programs to help the uninsured sign up for federally subsidized private insurance under Obamacare.

It also set in motion a reduction in user fees that provide the bulk of exchange revenues, leading experts to warn that cuts in spending for consumer information, outreach and assistance activities could be difficult to reverse.

Psaki said Biden will issue executive orders on immigration next week. Reuters reported that the directives had been planned for Friday, but were delayed.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail