Biden administration appeals Texas court decision striking down free Obamacare coverage of preventive care

Health, Fitness & Food

Members of the media ask questions to U.S. President Joe Biden as he walks to the Marine One helicopter to depart for travel to Mississippi to view tornado damage, from the White House in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2023. 
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The Biden administration on Friday appealed a Texas federal judge’s decision to strike down free Obamacare coverage of preventive health-care services ranging from screenings for certain cancers and diabetes to HIV prevention drugs.

U.S. Judge Reed O’Connor of the U.S. Northern District Court of Texas on Thursday struck down an Obamacare mandate requiring most private insurance plans to cover certain types of health care recommended an independent panel of experts called the Preventive Services Task Force.

“Preventive care is an essential part of health care: it saves lives, saves families money, and improves our nation’s health,” said Kamara Jones, a Health and Human Services spokesperson, on Thursday evening after the judge’s ruling. “Actions that strip away this decade-old protection are backwards and wrong.” 

The case will now go to U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. A majority of the judges on that court were appointed by Republican presidents.

HHS estimates that 150 million Americans benefited from free screenings, counseling, medications and other forms of healthcare that prevent disease due to the Obamacare requirements.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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