Government & Public Affairs begins a new era of advocacy with the Biden Administration

The government and public affairs team for Providence St. Joseph Health focuses on monitoring public policies and advocating for important health and social programs that benefit our communities. As part of its ministry, Providence has a special mission of serving those who are poor and vulnerable, working toward a better and more just health care delivery system.

Here is a summary of the Biden administration priorities. Government affairs is tracking these announcements and continues to actively engage with this new administration:

COVID Response

  • The Biden administration is prioritizing a unified national strategy to respond to the pandemic, including:
  • A comprehensive vaccination campaign
  • A focus on mitigating the spread of the disease through expanding masking, testing, treatment, data, and workforce
  • Increasing vaccine distribution across states
  • Working to safely reopen schools and businesses; and
  • Protecting those most at risk, including Black,
  • indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities

ACA Preservation

President Biden has begun to take steps to review and reverse the actions of the previous administration to dismantle the ACA, including:

  • Establishing a special open enrollment period for the uninsured to obtain coverage through the health insurance marketplaces and increasing funding foroutreach and enrollment
  • Directing the Department of Health and Human Services to re-examine less comprehensive insurance plan offerings allowed by the previous administration.

The team also expects that President Biden may work with Congress to increase subsidies for families purchasing insurance through the health insurance marketplaces.

Medicaid Expansion

President Biden supports Medicaid expansion, and the team predicts his administration will take steps to encourage states to expand Medicaid. The administration is now reviewing, and will likely reverse, Medicaid block grant and work requirements now allowed by waivers, as well as also working with Congress to increase federal matching funds for Medicaid during the COVID public health crisis.

Health Inequities

COVID-19 has highlighted health inequities, and the Biden administration hopes to increase vaccine rates in BIPOC communities. The administration is also expected to prioritize reducing disparities in maternal mortality rates, as well as reverse the public charge final rule, which has caused many legal immigrants to forego needed health care.

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