In an attempt to improve access to the healthcare system, crucial amid the coronavirus pandemic, US President Joe Biden on Thursday (28) signed an executive order to open a new period of purchasing health plans and reassessing Donald Trump’s management policies.
The goal, the Democrat said in a brief White House ceremony, is “to undo the damage Trump has caused.”
The health emergency has already killed more than 430,000 people in the country, which represents nearly 26 million people infected.
By law, Americans in 36 states use Obamacare [o programa aprovado no governo de Barack Obama para facilitar o acesso ao seguro de saúde] they can only purchase health insurance for a period of six weeks in the northern hemisphere’s fall (spring in Brazil) – a restriction that exists to encourage people to maintain coverage even when they are in good health.
When the coronavirus pandemic erupted, Trump was forced to reopen that registry outside of the traditional period as millions of Americans lost their jobs and were left without health insurance coverage. The former president, however, did not give in to pressure.
Hires for this year’s cover ended in mid-December, with a slight increase in registrations from the previous year, but Trump’s management barely revealed that the period was open.
Biden’s directive on Thursday reopens that period for hiring. At online outlets established under the terms of the Accessible Treatment Act, the official name of Obamacare, Americans will be able to purchase plans between February 15 and May 15.
The intention is to offer coverage not only to those who lost aid during the pandemic, but also to those who did not have a plan and now want it, a government official said on Wednesday. (27) morning at the New York Times.
The official heard by the US newspaper said the reopening would be accompanied by solid disclosure to patients – with paid advertising to reach consumers directly in partnership with community organizations and advocacy groups – something the administration ditched. Trump.
The measure also calls on federal agencies to revise policies – including exemptions that allow states to impose work requirements – that discourage participation in Medicaid, the public health insurance program for the poorest and most disabled. .
Enrollment in the program increased dramatically during the pandemic, in part because people lost their jobs and their health coverage.
This Thursday’s actions also lead to changes in abortion policies, which places the Democrat at the center of a long cultural war in the country. Like former Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, he rescinded the “global gag rule,” which prohibited international nonprofits that offer advice on terminating a pregnancy from using US tax resources.
The change in the measure lasts decades, applied by Republicans and reversed by Democrats.
Biden also ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to take immediate action to consider removing the so-called “household gag rule,” a regulation imposed by the Trump administration that bans family planning clinics that receive transfers from the federal government for counseling on abortion. . To effect the change, however, the ministry must rewrite new regulations, which can take months.
Obamacare, which Biden helped secure when he was Barack Obama’s MP, has been threatened by Trump, who during his four years in office failed to overturn the law that created him.
The US Supreme Court signaled, just after last year’s election, that it should not overthrow Obamacare. At least 5 of the court’s 9 justices – including 2 from the Conservative majority – have shown that they will not buy into the argument that part of the law is unconstitutional and, therefore, the whole agenda. should be canceled.
The former Republican president, however, used various executive orders during his tenure to undermine Obamacare. In 2018, for example, it extended the duration of cheaper short-term contracts – which don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions – from three months to three years.
The change could lead to the exclusion of common benefits, such as maternity care, mental health or prescription drugs. The Republican leadership has also allowed small businesses to band together and offer health plans that do not meet the requirements of the Accessible Treatment Act.
Biden has asked federal agencies to reassess those rules, which could take months. If they are revoked, patients who have adopted these plans will not be able to renew them, which can leave them without coverage if they find it costly to hire another. In this line, the president defended increasing subsidies to Obamacare plans to make them more accessible.
The law combines market and state aspects – it increases the number of low-income people covered by Medicaid and offers grants to individuals up to a certain income bracket to purchase insurance in a health insurance market .
It also prohibits health plans from prohibiting patients with pre-existing conditions or adopting limits on the amount of coverage.
Before the law, people with diabetes or cancer, for example, were forced to pay a large portion of medical bills, even when they had insurance, because of the coverage cap.
To make this economically viable for businesses in the industry, the law began to require most people to have – and pay for – a health plan. This requirement is the most unpopular part of the law, especially among Republicans, who view the measure as excessive state intervention.