- The U.S. Justice Department filed a notice of appeal Friday against a Thursday ruling by a Texas judge striking down part of the Affordable Care Act that requires health plans to fully cover certain preventive medical services.
- Judge Reed O’Connor in U.S. District Court for Northern Texas ruled on Thursday that the task force creating the preventative mandate was not appointed appropriately under the constitution.
- The lawsuit was brought by a group of businesses arguing the ACA mandate required them to include coverage of medical services like preventive drugs for HIV, violating their religious beliefs.
Thursday’s ruling drew immediate backlash from provider groups who argued that the decision could hamper access to some preventive services that health plans have been required to fully cover since the ACA’s inception.
“Denying access to proven preventive care flies in the face of good policy, and the societal costs of establishing barriers to preventive services are immeasurable,” American Medical Association President Jack Resneck said in a statement.
“Physicians know the inevitable result when courts interfere with insurance coverage of effective, proven interventions. Patients will be subjected to needless illness and preventable deaths,” he said.
Previously, in September, O’Connor ruled against the preventive care mandate and asked the parties to submit briefs on how to proceed in terms of relief.
O’Connor has targeted the ACA before. In 2018, the judge ruled the entire ACA was unconstitutional, though the Supreme Court upheld the law in a 7-2 decision in 2021.
“This case is yet another attack on the Affordable Care Act — which has been the law of the land for 13 years and survived three challenges before the Supreme Court,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“The Administration will continue to fight to improve health care and make it more affordable for hard-working families, even in the face of attacks from special interests,” she said.