One judge on the federal appeals court panel considering whether an order blocking HHS from enforcing the Affordable Care Act preventive services coverage mandate should continue to be partially stayed through its appeal is urging the parties to pursue a workable resolution, and legal expert Tim Jost says the panel appeared open to the government’s suggestion the court issue a narrow solution that only applies to insurers in Texas.
When we last checked in on the Braidwood v. Becerra federal lawsuit, there was a lot of confusion as to exactly which preventative services mandated by the Affordable Care Act to be covered at no out-of-pocket (OOP) charge to enrollees were supposed to be stricken and which weren't.
The most recent development prior to today came on March 30th, 2023:
Judge Reed O'Connor STRIKES DOWN a major provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring insurers to cover a vast amount of preventive care cost-free (contraception, cancer screening, PrEP, a ton of pregnancy-related care). The ruling applies nationwide. https://t.co/wL26vkIPsd
The Massachusetts Health Connector Board of Directors voted on Thursday, May 11, to ensure that health insurance plans used by five million Commonwealth residents to meet the state’s individual mandate continue to deliver high-value preventive services at no cost to consumers. This vote follows a March 2023 decision by a federal District Court in Texas to limit the scope of preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act.
The proposed regulation amendments guarantee that Massachusetts residents with health insurance plans meeting state Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC) standards will continue to receive key preventive services like cancer screenings, HIV prevention, and cholesterol-lowering medication without cost-sharing. These proposed regulation amendments protect coverage standards that are current practice in the Commonwealth.
Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President Cynthia Cox posted a thread on Twitter yesterday which gives an brief overview of which of the preventative services required to be covered at no cost to the enrollee by the Affordable Care Act are actually threatened by yesterday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor.
The passing of Chadwick Boseman from colorectal cancer at the age of 43 devastated so many people who looked to the “Black Panther” star and saw a hero. His death last year was particularly impactful for me, a young Black man whose mother had been diagnosed with the disease at age 34.
My mom was fortunate. She had a colonoscopy that spotted the cancer early and helped save her life.
Still, because of my family history, I am at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Black men are also at higher risk as well. So just days before my 30th birthday, I underwent my first colonoscopy.
So, are there any MORE challenges to the ACA? Of course. As Katie Keith notes over at Health Affairs:
As the law hangs in the balance, other ACA litigation is proceeding. The Supreme Court has been asked to hear appeals by health insurers over whether they are entitled to fully recover unpaid cost-sharing reduction payments. It is not year clear whether the Court will agree to do so; if it does, the appeals would be heard next term. Other lawsuits remain pending before district and appellate courts over the scope of the ACA’s contraceptive mandate, the preventive services mandate, and Section 1557, among other issues.