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Biden announces 1 million have enrolled in special ObamaCare sign-up period

Biden announces 1 million have enrolled in special ObamaCare sign-up period
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President BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE announced on Tuesday that 1 million people have enrolled so far in Affordable Care Act coverage during a special sign-up period his administration created.

Biden reopened ObamaCare enrollment upon taking office in January, a step that the Trump administration had declined to take after the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Sign-ups are still ongoing until Aug. 15, and Biden urged more people to go to healthcare.gov to enroll.

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"That’s one million more Americans who now have the peace of mind that comes from having health insurance," Biden said in a statement in making the announcement. "One million more Americans who don’t have to lie awake at night worrying about what happens if they or one of their family members gets sick. Through this opportunity for special enrollment, we have made enormous progress in expanding access to health insurance."

The $1.9 trillion COVID-19-related relief bill that Biden signed in March also included additional financial assistance for Affordable Care Act enrollees to help them pay for their premiums.

Biden also said that since April 1, when the extra subsidies became available, the median ObamaCare plan deductible for new coverage has dropped by nearly 90 percent, to $50.

Part of the next phase of Biden's legislative agenda, the American Families Plan, calls for making this extra financial assistance permanent, beyond the two years for which it is currently scheduled.

"Today’s milestone demonstrates that there is a need and a demand for high quality, affordable health insurance across this country," Biden said. "It is up to Congress to hear them, and act quickly to pass the American Families Plan."

However, the American Families Plan left out measures to reduce prescription drug prices and to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 55 or 60, both proposals that are backed by leading Democrats in Congress, who could add them in as the package moves forward.