In a call Thursday, a Biden White House official touted today’s executive actions on health care, telling reporters, “In basic teams, what that means is that starting in just two weeks, healthcare.gov will be open for consumers to come in submit an application and select a health insurance plan.”
Biden is slated to reopen enrollment on the federal Affordable Care Act exchanges today as part of a series of executive actions related to health care that he will sign at a 1:30 p.m. ET.
“We’re in the middle of a global pandemic,” the official told reporters, “and we want to make sure that people who want health insurance can get it.”
On outreach, the administration told reporters that while “we do not have a specific enrollment projection at this time…there are millions of uninsured people who can benefit from coverage through the ACA.”
Criticizing the former administration, which tried and failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act before slashing funding for outreach efforts, the official told reporters, “it’s certainly the case that enrollment over the last four years has not been backed by the same sort of outreach efforts that would help people become informed about their options, so we are really looking to reach people who, who have been eligible all along, but may not have been aware of the opportunity to sign up for coverage.”
On efforts to reduce premiums, the official pointed to “actions by the Trump administration, in the in the last four years that had the effect of increasing premiums for folks who are who are buying coverage,” noting that while some actions would require legislation, reversing Trump’s actions could be “part of the agency’s review of policies and practices that undermine the Affordable Care Act… which could result in premium savings for families.”
The official also dismissed concerns that any action on health care would be delayed until the confirmation of Xavier Becerra as Health and Human Services Secretary, telling reporters, “the President expects the Senate to act quickly on his nominees but there is, there’s a lot of work that the agency is going to get started on right away.”