NOTE: This blog was originally published in Health Affairs on December 7th, 2020.
In his first press conference as President-elect, Joe Biden reminded the nation of his commitment to “do everything we can to ease the burden of health care on you and your family.” Although the Congressional outlook for comprehensive health legislation remains uncertain, President-elect Biden doesn’t need to rely on Congress to pursue his pledge to finish the job our nation started a decade ago when it passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Biden administration can make important progress by using its administrative authority to make individual health insurance substantially more affordable while extending health care to millions of hard-working families who are uninsured today. Such administrative reforms go beyond reversing harmful Trump administration policies. They take affirmative steps that enable new progress in three areas: encouraging state and local innovation; fine-tuning individual-market rules; and modernizing eligibility for Medicaid and advance premium tax credits.