Though President Biden has been in office for just over one week, he’s already bringing about some major changes. He’s signed a record-setting number of executive orders, including ones pertaining to the military’s transgender ban, racial equality and the end of the muslim travel ban—and he’s not through yet. On Thursday, January 28, he signed another that will bring back President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare.
The law was brought about in 2010 and sought to provide all Americans with accessible health care. President Trump could not repeal the law during his term, but he did make it more difficult for citizens to obtain it (especially if they were low income), and some were then tasked with securing another form of insurance. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the New York Times, President Biden has created a 90-day enrollment stint that is due to begin on February 15. Citizens will be able to sign up on healthcare.gov, which an insurance hub available in 36 states. It is probable that the remaining 14 states that are responsible for their own marketplaces will get on board with Obamacare.
“There’s nothing new that we’re doing here other than restoring the Affordable Care Act and restoring Medicaid to the way it was before Trump became president. Because by fiat, he changed, made [it] more inaccessible, more expensive and more difficult for people to qualify for either of those two plans,” President Biden said in an Oval Office signing ceremony.
Additionally, President Biden has moved to reverse the restrictions Trump placed on abortions. In 2019, Trump enacted a rule that effectively disallowed healthcare providers participating in Title X—an initiative funded by the federal government to provide poor families with access to preventative health services—from sharing abortion referrals. The decision primarily affected people who were uninsured, Black, of color and low income, according to CNN.
The memorandum “relates to protecting women’s health at home and abroad, and it reinstates the changes that were made to Title X and other things making it harder for women to have access to affordable health care as it relates to their reproductive rights,” President Biden told reporters at the Oval Office.