Biden Issues Executive Order to Strengthen the ACA

The Order Directs Federal Agencies to Review Existing Policies to Determine whether they Undermine the ACA

On Jan. 28, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that is intended to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid. The executive order directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider establishing a special enrollment period through Federally Facilitated Exchanges due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The order also directs HHS, the Treasury and the Department of Labor (DOL) to review all existing regulations and guidance, and other agency actions to determine whether they are inconsistent with the policy of the executive order, and consider whether to suspend, revisit or rescind those actions. Finally, the executive order revokes two prior executive orders issued by the Trump administration.

An executive order is a broad policy directive that directs federal agencies to consider new regulations or guidance to implement the order’s policies. The order itself does not make any changes to existing regulations. As a result, the executive order’s specific impact will remain largely unclear until agencies can issue further guidance.