The incoming administration will have the opportunity to impact how Americans experience and access health care. Two organizations, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Families USA (Families) have laid out long lists of potential actions President-elect Biden’s Department of Health & Human Services could take that would affect coverage, including through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
The KFF list is wide-ranging, starting with COVID-19 response and extending to cross-cutting issues such as mental health, immigration, and long-term care. KFF identifies details for each action, including whether it would be a reversal of Trump administration policy or require notice-and-comment rulemaking.
The list includes several important issues that Medicare Rights has engaged on in the past. For example, KFF outlines changes to current Medicaid guidance that promotes work requirements and block grants—two policies that put older adults and people with disabilities at risk. Also included are changes limiting or eliminating “junk” insurance plans that can leave people without coverage when they need it most.
The Families analysis covers some of the same ground but has a heightened focus on proactive changes that could be made to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to extend the availability of affordable coverage.
At Medicare Rights, we support administrative changes that will increase the affordability of and access to care and coverage. In addition to the many policies highlighted by KFF and Families, there are actions the incoming administration could take to increase access to Medicare, including COVID-related flexibilities such as Special Enrollment Periods.
President-elect Biden will have many decisions to make in his first few months in office. We hope and expect many of these decisions to revolve around health care, from responding to the pandemic to increasing coverage. As with all previous administrations, we will stand ready and eager to assist in crafting policies important to people with Medicare and their families.