Appeals Court Halts Ruling Ending Obamacare Preventive Care Mandate


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court in New Orleans on Monday temporarily stayed a federal judge’s ruling that struck down a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires most insurers to cover preventive care. , including immunizations and screenings for cancer, diabetes and HIV.

Without comment, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an «administrative stay» of the March 30 ruling by US District Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas.

The Biden administration had asked for a stay when it appealed the March 30 decision. Administration lawyers said in court documents that O’Connor’s decision would affect preventive care for 150 million people.

O’Connor, a nominee of former President George W. Bush, is the same judge who ruled more than four years ago that the entire health care law, a signature achievement of former President Barack Obama, it was unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court later reversed that ruling.

In his March ruling, O’Conner blocked only the requirement that most insurers cover a variety of preventative care. The ruling was a victory for the plaintiffs, including a conservative activist in Texas and a Christian dentist who opposed mandatory coverage for both contraception and HIV prevention treatment on religious grounds.

The appeal is in the early stages and the appeals court has not yet set a date for arguments.

The requirements for coverage are driven by recommendations from the volunteer U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. O’Connor ruled that enforcing the recommendations violated constitutional language about how government officials can be appointed.

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