About six months ago, I wrote concerning how President Joe Biden could, at the stroke of a pen, invoke Section 1881A of the Social Security act to expand Medicare to cover every single American. My argument is sound, but admittedly lacked a few details that would have strengthened my overall case.
Since my work was published, I have read a few attempts across the internet that made me think I might have been mistaken. But it turns out that is not the case. Turns out, if you only read the parts that reinforce your assumptions, as I initially did, you find your argument is destroyed or made stronger.
And so, I read, then reread the entirety of the provision within Section 1881A. I studied it, I Googled terms as needed, and discovered I was, in fact, correct in my original analysis. Unfortunately, I left out a particularly important piece of evidence.
Emergency Declaration Defined—For purposes of this section, the term “emergency declaration” means a declaration of a public health emergency under section 104(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.— Section (d)
In other words, a national emergency must be declared for this provision to be invoked by the president, regardless of who is in the Oval Office. And so it is, with the global pandemic called Covid-19 the Department of Health and Human Services did just that on Jan 27, 2020, declaring a public health emergency for the entire nation
An argument could be made that the Environmental Protection Agency could invoke the Superfund law to add an extra layer of urgency, but I understand words when they are placed in a particular order.
My motivation for writing that article back in February 2021 was asking what kind of legacy is Joe Biden hoping to leave. The fact we are still under a national public health emergency, with the language of Section 1881A bolstering this line of thinking, should make everyone stand up and demand President Biden invoke Section 1881A immediately. Are you upset enough yet?