Biden exercising executive authority in grandstand ploy to protect out-of-state travel for abortions

President Biden will grandstand and sign a second unnecessary executive order on Wednesday dealing with the protection of abortion rights and travel at the first meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access.

(Video Credit: We Are Iowa Local 5 News)

The task force was launched by Biden with a separate executive order on July 8, after the landmark abortion case Roe vs. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Cabinet members are also expected to brief Biden on steps their respective agencies have taken “to defend reproductive rights” at Wednesday’s meeting, an administration official told reporters on Tuesday.

There are three different facets to the new order, according to the Washington Examiner.

It directs Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to “consider” avenues “to advance access to reproductive healthcare services,” including reimbursing Medicaid patients “who travel out of state for reproductive healthcare services,” which, of course, entails more spending for something that should not even be an issue. Taxpayers will be forced, in the end, to pay for the travel whether they support it or not.

A White House official told CNN that the executive order would allow states to provide care for out-of-state patients seeking abortions through a Medicaid 1115 waiver, permitting states to waive certain state-based requirements in providing care and assistance in covering “certain costs.”

Biden’s order does not go into very much detail. Currently, government-subsidized Medicaid health insurance plans cover medically necessary abortions in only 16 states and do not reimburse patients who leave their state to seek an abortion. The funds would have to come from somewhere else unless the federal government mandates Medicaid to pay for the travel.

According to the Guardian, a senior administration official claims that HHS will soon have more details on provisions to help women served by Medicaid health coverage cover certain costs of traveling for reproductive care.

The executive order urges Becerra to “consider” a number of ways to ensure healthcare providers “comply with Federal non-discrimination laws so that women receive medically necessary care without delay.” That directive ostensibly includes providing healthcare providers with technical support and guidance concerning federal nondiscrimination laws.

The third piece of the order launches “new research and data collection on maternal health outcomes” and seeks to “measure the impact that diminishing access to reproductive healthcare services has on women’s health.”

Many abortion rights activists contend that the executive orders and actions by Biden amount to making a political statement of support for abortion but do little to take concrete action. Conservatives see it as political posturing for the president’s radical base.

Biden sought to protect national access to mifepristone, which is a Food and Drug Administration-approved abortion medication, even though more than a dozen states have enacted strict abortion bans. Senior administration officials have dismissed numerous other solutions offered by activists, including hosting abortion clinics on federal or tribal lands and on military bases.

The president has repeatedly asserted that his powers are limited and the primary protections for abortion rights should be implemented through congressional action that passes legislation codifying Roe vs. Wade into federal law. He has also told voters they need to put abortion rights on the ballot in November and elect more pro-abortion rights lawmakers.

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