U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on tackling climate change prior to signing executive actions in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, January 27, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden is set to sign executive actions Thursday aimed at expanding access to Obamacare during the coronavirus pandemic and rolling back anti-abortion policies that had been expanded by former President Donald Trump.
The latest moves add to the more than three dozen other presidential orders and memoranda Biden has signed in his first week in office, a record-setting pace.
Biden will sign an executive order intended to establish a special enrollment period on healthcare.gov, the health insurance sign-up site established under former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, from mid-February to mid-May.
The order also directs federal agencies to scrutinize and potentially reverse policies limiting health care access, including those that made it more difficult to enroll in Obamacare and Medicaid, the federal health insurance program.
Trump had tried unsuccessfully to overturn the act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement, but took steps to undercut the law.
Biden will also sign an executive memorandum to immediately rescind the so-called Mexico City Policy, also known as the “global gag rule,” a decades-old policy barring international non-profits from receiving U.S. funding if they provide abortion counseling or referrals.
That policy had been expanded under the Trump administration to deny assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that fund other groups that support abortion services.
Biden is set to sign the two executive actions at 1:30 p.m. in the Oval Office, according to his press schedule. White House press secretary Jen Psaki will hold a press briefing at 2:30 p.m.
In his first seven days in office, Biden has taken sweeping steps to erase Trump’s achievements. Biden signed orders for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, halt construction and funding of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, end the travel ban against people from several Muslim-majority countries, include undocumented immigrants in the decennial census, and reverse the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.