U.S. President Joe Biden signed executive actions 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.
"I’m not initiating any new law, any new aspect of the law," Biden said before signing the orders. "This is going back to what the situation was prior to the president’s executive orders."
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 first signed an executive order to reestablish 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 for the less fortunate.
Trump had tried unsuccessfully to overturn the act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement, but took steps to undercut the law.
"Of all times that we need to reinstate access to, affordability of and the extent of access to Medicaid is now in the middle of this Covid crisis," CNBC cited Biden as saying.