- On his first day in office, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, which called for the Federal Government to advance an ambitious, whole-of-government equity agenda.
- Following issuance of an Executive Order to strengthen access to affordable, quality health care, President Biden reopened HealthCare.gov for a special enrollment period to help Americans gain coverage as they continue to suffer from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Reopening the ACA Marketplace means nearly 9 million people will be eligible for free or subsidized health insurance coverage.
- The Biden-Harris administration announced it will invest $50 million in marketing and education efforts during the special enrollment period to reach groups that have historically experienced lower access to health coverage and greater disparities in health outcomes.
- President Biden established a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to mitigate the health disparities revealed and exacerbated by the pandemic.
- President Biden directed federal agencies to consider actions to strengthen and protect access to health care. President Biden also directed federal agencies to re-examine Trump-era policies that undermine the ACA and Medicaid.
- The Biden-Harris administration sent letters to states signaling it would end Trump’s disastrous Medicaid work requirements program.
- The Biden-Harris administration announced it would defend the Affordable Care Act in California v. Texas, the lawsuit before the Supreme Court to completely dismantle the law. This move reverses the Trump administration’s support for ripping away coverage from more than 20 million Americans and protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions.
- President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, providing essential relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and delivering lower health care premiums to millions of families. The American Rescue Plan:
- Lowers health care costs for millions by increasing financial assistance in the exchanges and makes financial assistance more widely available to middle class families, ensuring people purchasing coverage on the ACA marketplaces will not pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for coverage. Families will now save an average of $2,400 a year on their health insurance premiums.
- Eliminates premiums for those making 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
- Expands coverage and builds on public health emergency continuous coverage protections by providing robust financial incentives for the states that have not yet implemented Medicaid expansion.
- Creates a pathway to coverage for pregnant Americans, allowing states to extend postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months following pregnancy.
- The Biden-Harris administration announced that more than 528,000 Americans signed up for insurance through the ACA Marketplace during the first six weeks of the special enrollment period, and 17 percent of sign-ups came from Black Americans.
- The Biden-Harris administration began rolling back Trump’s gag rule that barred family planning providers from mentioning abortion to patients in order to receive Title X funding. Trump’s rule forced more than 1,000 clinics to leave the program and reduced the provider capacity of the Title X network by nearly half. The Biden-Harris administration’s rule will restore essential funding back to these providers, like Planned Parenthood, which offer essential health care services to low-income patients, including STI screenings and contraception.
- In a joint session to Congress, President Biden outlined bold proposals to further expand coverage, keep premium costs low for millions of people in America who buy insurance on their own, and lower the high cost of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies.
- The Biden-Harris administration announced that nearly one million Americans signed up for insurance through the ACA Marketplace between February 15 and April 30. Importantly, many of these enrollees have been able to take advantage of the dramatic savings under the American Rescue Plan, with the average monthly premiums falling to $86 for those signing up in April. Another two million enrollees that signed up before the American Rescue Plan’s subsidies took effect returned to the Marketplace and saw their premiums cut by 40 percent.
- The Missouri Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Medicaid expansion, reversing a lower court decision rejecting the program. In August 2020, voters in Missouri approved expansion, but Republicans in the state legislature refused to fund the program, leading to a months-long legal battle.
- HHS announced the release of the new HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy to increase access to the full range of care and services for individuals who use substances that cause overdose and their families. This new strategy prioritizes four key target areas—primary prevention, harm reduction, evidence-based treatment, and recovery support—and reflects the Biden-Harris administration principles of maximizing health equity for underserved populations.
- Under the leadership of President Biden, House Democrats passed the Build Back Better Act. The legislation includes historic measures to strengthen American health care, lower insurance premiums, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, expand affordable coverage to millions by closing the Medicaid coverage gap, expand Medicare benefits, and invest $150 billion in home care for seniors and people with disabilities.
- The Biden-Harris administration announced that a record 14.5 million Americans received their health insurance through the ACA marketplaces, thanks in large part to the American Rescue Plan. The administration noted that more than 5.8 million Americans newly gained coverage through the Marketplace in 2021, including 2.8 million Americans who enrolled during the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Marketplace enrollment increases have been particularly large for Hispanic, Black and American Indian and Alaska Native people.
- The No Surprises Act took effect on January 1, prohibiting surprise medical bills for out-of-network care that occurs in unexpected or emergency situations.
- President Biden signed a new executive order focused on continued efforts to expand access to affordable, quality health coverage. On the same day, a proposed rule to fix the family glitch was issued.
- Consistent with Executive Order 13985, HHS announced the Equity Action Plan to save lives and improve health by making equity a central component of HHS’s decision-making.
- The Biden-Harris administration released the Administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, a whole-of-government approach to combating maternal mortality and morbidity.
- HHS announced a proposed rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in certain health programs and activities. This proposed rule reverses harmful Trump administration action and restores and strengthens civil rights protections for patients and consumers in certain federally funded health programs and HHS programs services.
- President Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act into law, which lowers prescription drug and premium costs for millions of seniors and families. The Inflation Reduction Act:
- Protects seniors from prescription drug hikes. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, when drug companies hike prices faster than that the rate of inflation, they will have to pay Medicare a rebate. This will not only save the government billions of dollars, but it will drastically reduce out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries.
- Gives Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, which will save taxpayers billions of dollars and lower costs for some of the most popular and expensive prescription drugs. By 2030, 80 of the most expensive prescription drugs will have lower prices because of these negotiations.
- Caps drug costs for seniors. Under this new law, Part D plans will be required to cap annual out-of-pocket spending to $2,000, giving over 46.6 million Americans with Medicare Part D more reassurance and financial stability.
- Cuts insulin costs. The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin prices at no more than $35 for all Medicare beneficiaries beginning in January 2023 — saving seniors up to $1,500 annually.
- Provides free vaccines for seniors. All Medicare Part D beneficiaries will have access to covered vaccines, such as shingles and Tdap, at no cost starting in 2023.
- Lowers health insurance premiums for millions of Americans. The Inflation Reduction Act saves the average American family $2,400 a year.
- Caps the amount of money families pay for health insurance. The Inflation Reduction Act ensures families pay no more than 8.5 percent of their income towards coverage.
- Eliminates premiums for low-wage workers. The Inflation Reduction Act ensures no American with an income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level buying their coverage on the Marketplace will pay a premium.
- The Biden-Harris administration announced that the uninsured rate reached an all-time low of 8 percent.
- Ahead of the 2023 open enrollment period, the Biden-Harris administration announced the single-largest investment ever in the Navigator program of nearly $100 million to help connect more people to affordable coverage, with a focus on outreach to racial and ethnic minorities, people in rural areas, LGBTQ+ people, and other underserved communities.
- CMS proposed a rule making it easier for millions of eligible people to enroll in and retain their Medicaid coverage. The rule would reduce red tape and simplify applications, verifications, enrollment, and renewals for health care coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- Following the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services, building on actions that the Biden-Harris administration has taken to protect access to reproductive health care services and defend women’s fundamental rights.
- The White House announced that President Biden will sign an executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to explore new actions it can take to lower prescription drug costs for middle-class families.
- The Biden-Harris administration issued a final rule to fix the “family glitch,” which blocked millions of families from accessing affordable coverage through the ACA marketplaces. This rule will expand coverage and lower health care costs for more than one million Americans.
- HHS announced that new enrollments for ACA coverage are up nearly 40% over last year thanks to the enhanced subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act and the administration’s historic investment in the Navigator program.
- South Dakota residents voted to expand Medicaid to more than 40,000 people across the state.
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2024, which takes important steps to make ACA coverage more accessible, affordable, and equitable for the American people. Specifically, the new rules expand access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, promote prescription drug affordability, and make it easier for patients to enroll in and maintain their health insurance.
- President Biden signed legislation to guarantee 12-month continuous coverage for children on Medicaid and CHIP once they are enrolled, ensuring millions are not arbitrarily thrown off of their coverage. The bill also gives states the ability to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers and takes important steps to ensure people who qualify for Medicaid stay covered when states are allowed to end pandemic coverage requirements.
- The Department of Health and Human Services announced that 16.3 million people have signed up for health coverage during the 2023 open enrollment period. This represents a record number of Americans who signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This is more than a 12 percent increase from the same time last year.
- On January 1, 2023, two key provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act took effect. First, insulin copays are now capped at $35 per month for more than three million diabetics covered by Medicare. Second, all adults on Medicare Part D have access to covered vaccines, such as shingles and Tdap, at no cost. These policies alone will save seniors hundreds of dollars on their health care costs, keep millions of people healthy, and prevent dangerous complications associated with diabetes, shingles, and other serious diseases.
- President Biden signed a new Executive Order, Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, to strengthen and reaffirm the administration’s commitment to deliver equity and build an America in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
- The Biden-Harris administration announced it had effectively implemented the largest adult vaccination program in U.S. history, with nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- As a result of the Biden-Harris administration’s stewardship of the ACA Marketplaces since taking office, 4.4 million more Americans, a total of 16.4 million, have affordable Marketplace coverage.
- On the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being signed into law, North Carolina became the 40th state to expand Medicaid, extending affordable health care to 600,000 North Carolinians.
- The Biden-Harris administration announced that, as a result of the American Rescue Plan, an estimated 462,000 Americans across 30 states and the District of Columbia have access to 12 months of postpartum coverage, a key policy to reduce maternal health disparities that exist for Black, Indigenous, and rural mothers.
- In response to calls from President Biden, the three largest insulin manufacturers announced $35 monthly out-of-pocket cost caps, lowering costs of about 90% of the insulin on the market.
- HHS finalized a rule to crack down on misleading advertising from insurers on Medicare Advantage plans.
- As the pandemic-era Medicaid continuous coverage requirement ends, the Biden-Harris administration is working to ensure states have strong plans in place to keep people covered and prevent those who still qualify for Medicaid coverage from losing it.
- President Biden announced a historic set of executive actions to support and strengthen the caregiving workforce, including family caregivers and long-term care workers for seniors and people with disabilities.
- The Department of Justice announced it was seeking a stay of the devastating ruling in Braidwood Management v. Becerra, which ends a major provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires no-cost coverage of lifesaving preventive health care services. Braidwood is the latest effort by ACA opponents and their Republican allies to dismantle American health care.
- CMS issued two new rules to strengthen access to care for millions of people who rely on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Together, the two new rules would ensure the 92 million adults and children who rely on Medicaid have meaningful access to health care services including primary care, behavioral health and substance use disorder services, and OB/GYN care by establishing national standards for the time patients must wait to see a provider and the distance they must travel.
- CMS released a proposal to expand health care to DACA recipients.
- President Biden committed to protecting health care for millions of Americans as Republicans are seeking to rip away coverage for as many as 21 million people who rely on Medicaid through their extreme “Default on America Act.” President Biden told reporters Medicaid is off the table while the White House confirmed “he will not accept proposals that take away peoples’ health coverage.”
- CMS announced a proposal to increase prescription drug pricing transparency in Medicaid to hold drug manufacturers accountable while saving taxpayers money and strengthening Medicaid.