WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded the most recent executive orders signed by President Joe Biden that will begin to restore and strengthen Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care and protect women’s health at home and abroad.
“Today, President Biden took steps to ensure that those who have lost their employer-based benefits – and those who are uninsured or underinsured – do not have to face our current public health and economic crisis without access to reliable and affordable health insurance. Health insurance is a critical component of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Regretfully, uninsured Americans may forgo testing or treatment for COVID-19, thereby exacerbating the spread of the virus.
“Throughout this crisis, Maryland created a special enrollment period, allowing tens of thousands of Marylanders to maintain access to quality health care during the pandemic. Unfortunately, 38 states nationwide have not had that same capability to create their own open enrollment periods. The executive orders signed today includes actions that will open a special enrollment period from February 15th to May 15th for Marketplace coverage on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges. The actions also will instruct agencies to consider additional actions to strengthen Medicaid and the ACA so they can continue to provide access to life-saving care for millions of Americans. Millions of Americans may then have the peace of mind of coverage, and be able to better protect their families, while they take strides to get back on their feet during this crisis.
“Under the Trump administration women’s health was under constant threat, as President Trump implemented multiple policies that denied access to comprehensive reproductive health care. President Trump implemented regulations that stripped millions of Title X family planning dollars from trusted healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood and reinstated and expanded the Global Gag Rule denying millions of men, women, and children across the world access to lifesaving global health programs. It is with great relief that President Biden will act to protect and expand access to comprehensive reproductive health care and rescind the dangerous, anti-woman Mexico City Policy, supporting women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights at home and abroad.”
Maryland’s Special Enrollment Period runs through March 15, 2021. More information is available here.