Here are just a few of the mental health initiatives that the Biden Administration appears poised to pursue, according to policy watchers and influencers.
- Increased federal enforcement of an Affordable Care Act mandate that insurance companies put mental health care on par with all other health care.
- Heightened oversight of short-term insurance policies that President Trump supported, but critics derided as “junk insurance” because they did not cover mental illness or behavioral, substance abuse and similar disorders.
- More federal support to help municipalities join a nationwide emergency 988 call line — signed into law in 2020 by Trump — aimed at lowering suicide rates, police intervention in emergencies involving persons with mental illness and handling other mental health crises.
- Urging Congress to approve $4 billion to help the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) expand services as the pressures of COVID-19 have prompted record numbers to people to seek mental and behavioral health care.
President Biden took a big step to aid those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and their employer-sponsored health insurance ordering the federal marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act to reopen on Feb. 15 for a special three-month enrollment period.
Biden’s orders and his comments are online at WhiteHouse.gov. Continue reading
President Joe Biden wears a mask in a social media image announcing a mask mandate on federal property, launching his “100 Day Masking Challenge” as part of the country’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve.
On Jan. 21, President Biden published a 200-page national plan for combating the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for the next one.
It is a stark contrast to former President Trump, whose coronavirus task force never created a national plan for responding to the pandemic and instead left it up to states and their health departments to determine strategies for ending the pandemic, resulting in a patchwork of plans that did little to stop the pandemic.
Biden put federal heft behind his national plan, directing agencies to focus on seven goals: Continue reading
President-elect Joe Biden’s health care leadership team is coming into focus.
Biden announced the nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, a surprise as many policy experts anticipated that Biden would pick a governor or someone with a medical background to run this critical executive office, according to the New York Times. Continue reading
In my last post, I addressed President-elect Joe Biden’s proposals for expanding the Affordable Care Act and the slim likelihood that programs like a public option could get through a closely divided Senate ― particularly if Republicans end up with a narrow one- or two-seat majority after the Georgia run-offs.
But Biden and the leaders he picks to run HHS and CMS will have broad executive power to shape health care, just as President Donald Trump and his appointees did. Continue reading