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UNHEALTHY RULING: Texas Judge Says Insurance Doesn’t Have To Cover Preventive Care Services, Including Mammograms And Heart Screenings



US District Judge Reed O’Connor

A federal judge in Texas ruled on Thursday that some Affordable Care Act mandates cannot be enforced nationwide, including those that require insurers to cover a wide array of preventive care services at no cost to the patient, including cancer, heart, and STD screenings. The ruling affects PrEP medications for HIV, cancer screenings, mammograms, and prenatal care including screenings for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

In his decision, US District Judge Reed O’Connor struck down the recommendations that have been issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force, which is tasked with determining some of the preventive care treatments that Obamacare requires to be covered, CNN reports.

O’Connor’s ruling comes after the judge had already said that the Task Force’s recommendations violated the Constitution’s Appointments Clause. The judge also deemed unlawful the ACA requirement that insurers and employers offer plans that cover HIV-prevention measures such as PrEP for free.

The decision from the ultra-conservative judge represents the latest legal attack on the landmark 2010 health care law.

As noted by CNN, the ruling is likely the case will be appealed, and the Justice Department has the option to ask that O’Connor’s ruling be put on pause while the appeal is litigated.

“While the case does not pose the existential threat to the Affordable Care Act that previous legal challenges posed, legal experts say that O’Connor’s ruling nonetheless puts in jeopardy the access some Americans will have to a whole host of preventive treatments, mostly poor people and marginalized communities,” the report states.


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