Health

Obamacare is back in court as Texans protest STD and HIV care

“The government cannot argue that forcing private insurance companies to provide PrEP drugs, the HPV vaccine, STD and substance abuse screenings, and behavioral counseling is such an important policy that it can overcome religious freedom objections.” The lawsuit says.

Texans suing the Biden administration also argue that Congress never authorized Department of Health and Human Services officials and outside consultants to create a list of preventive health services that all insurance plans must cover. They argue that only a person nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate should have this power.

The attorney arguing on their behalf is Jonathan Mitchell, the architect of Texas’ six-week abortion ban, which offers a $10,000 bonus to private citizens who successfully sue an abortion provider. It is supported by a number of conservative groups, including one led by Roger Severino, the former head of HHS’ Office for Civil Rights.

“It has the potential to have a very big impact beyond specific issues,” Severino told POLITICO. “It’s about who makes the decisions about what a health plan should include and what you should pay for.”

Analysis published on Monday by the Urban Institute, a left-leaning think tank funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that a ruling in favor of Texans could threaten coverage of preventive services for nearly 168 million people on employer health insurance and Obamacare’s individual market. The study predicts that, in turn, could reverse the health gains that have been made since Obamacare was enacted, such as fewer unintended pregnancies and increased cancer screening rates.

“Ending the requirement that preventive care be free for patients would have negative health and financial consequences for millions,” warned Kathryn Hempstead, senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Biden administration argues that the case should be thrown out because Texans have no standing because they are not harmed by their insurance’s preventive services — an argument that has been successful in past defenses of the Affordable Care Act. .

They also argue that the government’s public health interest in preventing the spread of HIV and STDs justifies the policy.

The lawsuit comes in the middle record figures Uneven progression of STDs and HIV. Health experts and advocates say the threat of losing coverage for preventive care is particularly damaging — not just for people who become infected, but for anyone whose premiums may rise to cover the costs of their treatment.

“Even the Trump administration has been a big supporter of PrEP as part of a plan to end HIV,” said Wayne Turner, senior staff attorney at the National Health Law Program. “This is something we’ve had bipartisan support for.” It’s trying to turn the clock back to 1983.

Judge O’Connor has sided with groups challenging Obamacare’s individual mandate, the law’s nondiscrimination provisions, contraceptive coverage requirements and insurance provider fees imposed on states through the law.

That case, despite O’Connor’s decision, is likely to be appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly upheld the Affordable Care Act but has not heard the issue since Judge Amy Cohn. Barrett replaced Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, giving conservatives another vote on the court.

Obamacare is back in court as Texans protest STD and HIV care

Source link Obamacare is back in court as Texans protest STD and HIV care

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