WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2023 — Today, the nation’s leading health groups, including the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and Public Citizen, filed an amicus brief supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a stay in Braidwood v. Becerra. This litigation threatens coverage of preventive services without cost sharing as required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In March, the U.S District Court in the Northern District of Texas vacated the requirement that ACA-compliant health plans cover certain U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended preventive services without cost sharing. The case has been appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Department of Justice has requested the Fifth Circuit issue a stay while litigation proceeds. The groups issued the following statement:
“Our organizations strongly urge the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to immediately issue a stay in Braidwood v. Becerra. Under the March 30 ruling in this case, millions of people would no longer have the guarantee of cost-free coverage for preventive services recommended by the USPSTF after enactment of the ACA in March 2010, including lung cancer screening, counseling interventions for individuals who are pregnant or postpartum, screening for anxiety in children and adolescents, screenings for Hepatitis B and C and medications to prevent HIV.
“This threat is not abstract. For example, self-funded employer health plans that cover approximately 65% of workers in the U.S. can change benefits with 60 days’ notice. If preventive care costs increase even for some individuals, the health consequences could be serious.
“A stay is necessary so people in the U.S. can still access lifesaving preventive services at no cost as this case is appealed. Our organizations will continue to work to make sure everyone in the U.S. has access to quality and affordable health care that includes preventive care.”
The full list of groups who joined the amicus are as follows: American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, GO2 for Lung Cancer, LUNGevity Foundation, Truth Initiative and Public Citizen.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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