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A judge strikes down the provision of Obamacare that requires insurers to pay for some preventive health services


The ruling, based on religious freedom, could jeopardize cancer screening and treatment for HIV, hypertension, and reproductive and mental health.

By Rebecca Shabad -

NBC News

A federal judge in Texas struck down provisions of the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) that require insurers to pay for some preventive care medical services.

This ruling may jeopardize nationwide coverage of services such as

cancer screenings, reproductive health, HIV, hypertension, and mental health.

Judge Reed O'Connor cited in his ruling an earlier decision about the structure of the Preventive Services Task Force, which was created under Obamacare and helps determine coverage for preventive services.

He ruled that he violates the appointments clause of the Constitution and therefore the related preventive care mandates would be illegal.

An Obamacare sign in Miami in 2015. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

O'Connor further ruled that Obamacare's requirement to cover drugs that prevent HIV, known as PrEP, violates religious rights.

under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

The plaintiffs who brought the case alleged that by taking out health insurance that provides coverage for HIV medications, the HPV vaccine, contraceptives, and sexually transmitted disease screenings, they violated "their religious beliefs in doing so." complicit in facilitating homosexual behavior, drug use, and sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman.”

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The judge already said the preventive services requirements were unconstitutional, but he hadn't decided whether that applied only to the plaintiffs, to Texas, or to the entire country, as he has now decided.

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The federal government, led by Joe Biden, and more than 20 states, mostly controlled by Democrats, urged O'Connor not to adopt a sweeping ruling that could eliminate the preventive care coverage requirement altogether.

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“Over the past decade, millions of Americans have relied on preventive services provisions to obtain preventive care at no cost, improving not only their own health and well-being, but also overall public health outcomes,” the states argued in a court file.

O'Connor, who was appointed by Republican President George W. Bush, has issued a series of rulings against Obamacare in recent years.

In 2018 he annulled this sanitary measure, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law before the initiatives of the Republican Party to dismantle it.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-30

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