Court Pauses Ruling to Block Obamacare Coverage of Some Preventative Care

May 16, 2023

The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday put a temporary hold on a federal judge’s ruling that struck down an Obamacare mandate requiring insurers to cover preventative care.

In March Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas struck down a provision of the Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or Obamacare, that provides patients with certain types of free preventive care, including screenings for cancer, depression, diabetes and HIV—the so-callled “PrEP mandate.”

O’Connor has in the past ruled Obamacare unconstitutional, which the Supreme Court overturned when it threw out a lawsuit filed by 18 Republican state attorneys general led by Texas in 2021. The high court said their lawsuit lacked standing.

In his March ruling  O’Connor said that the PrEP mandate violated religious freedom, adding that other no-cost preventive care mandates were based on recommendations by an illegally appointed task force. 

The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, without comment, issued its “administrative stay” of O’Connor’s ruling. 

If it holds up, O’Connor’s ruling on preventive care would apply nationwide, impacting millions of Americans. 

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