Biden signs executive order clearing way for Medicaid to pay for out-of-state abortions


President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order that paves the way for Medicaid to pay for abortion services for people who need to travel out of state.

Speaking virtually from the White House, Biden continued to criticize the Supreme Court’s June 25 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Today I’m signing the second executive order that responds to the health care crisis that has unfolded since the Supreme Court overturned Roe, and is facing women across America,” he said. -he declares.

The executive order comes just a day after abortion rights activists secured a major victory in Kansas, where voters on Tuesday rejected removing abortion rights from the state constitution.

Biden said the Supreme Court “virtually dared the women of this country to go to the polls and restore the right to choose that the Court just snatched from them after 50 years.”

“Kansas voters have sent a strong signal that this fall the American people will vote to preserve and protect the right and refuse to let it be wrested from politicians,” Biden said.

The executive order comes just a day after abortion rights activists secured a major victory in Kansas, where voters on Tuesday rejected removing abortion rights from the state constitution.

Biden said the Supreme Court “virtually dared the women of this country to go to the polls and restore the right to choose that the Court just snatched from them after 50 years.”

“Kansas voters have sent a strong signal that this fall the American people will vote to preserve and protect the right and refuse to let it be wrested from politicians,” Biden said.

The new guidance allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services “to invite states to apply for Medicaid waivers, so that states where abortion is legal can provide services to people traveling from a state where the abortion may be illegal to seek services in their state.” said the official. Technically, those states would apply through what’s called a “Medicaid 1115 waiver,” according to a senior administration official.

The official noted that when the White House considered declaring a public health emergency for abortion and what that would allow the federal government to do, that change brought to Medicaid – a patient medical expense assistance program low-income – was one of the options. But the White House realized the president could also do so through an executive order instead, which he plans to do on Wednesday, the official said.

President Joe Biden speaks virtually during the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Access to Reproductive Health Care at the White House complex in Washington, DC on August 3, 2022.

Susan Walsh/AP

But the timing of these changes remains unclear.

On Wednesday, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for details on the implementation of the executive order for women. who wish to have an abortion soon.

“Are we talking days, are we talking weeks, are we talking six months?” Vega asked.

Jean-Pierre said the administration “didn’t have the details to share today but [Health and Human Services] We’ll know more about what a waiver might look like and the timeline soon.”

Biden’s order also directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure that “health care providers comply with federal non-discrimination laws so that women receive medically necessary care without delay,” according to the White House. This could include “providing technical assistance to healthcare providers who may be confused or unsure of their obligations following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case”, or providing other information and guidance to providers. on their obligations and the consequences of non-compliance with non-conformities. – anti-discrimination laws.

The order also directs the secretary of health and human services to improve research and data collection on maternal health outcomes, according to the White House.

ABC News

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