Federal Court Decision Threatens the ACA’s Preventive Services Benefit: State Options to Mitigate Harm to Consumers
The same U.S. federal district judge that declared the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional in Texas v. California has issued a ruling in a lawsuit, Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra (formerly known as Kelley v. Becerra), that strikes down a requirement that health plans cover and waive cost-sharing for many critical preventive services. Although the U.S. Department of Justice is likely to appeal the ruling, some legal experts believe the Braidwood Management plaintiffs may prevail in the higher courts, too. If the ACA’s preventive services provision is gutted, only Congress can fully restore it. This expert perspective examines the potential implications of the ruling for the ACA and the opportunities available to states to mitigate the impact on consumers.