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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Urges Court to Reverse Decision, Preserve Cost-Free Preventive Care

    Gayle Lee, Director, Physician Payment & Quality
    For Media Inquiries

    The AAMC on June 27 joined the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and America’s Essential Hospitals to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit urging it to reverse the District Court for the Northern District of Texas’ decision that invalidates the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that private health plans cover without cost-sharing preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force [refer to Washington Highlights May 5, May 19]. Under the District Court ruling, plans would no longer be required to provide coverage for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV and other preventive services, such as screenings for breast and lung cancer and certain colonoscopies. The 5th Circuit granted a partial stay on May 15, which will protect access to these preventive care services until the appeal is considered.   

    The brief states that the “ACA’s preventive-care coverage requirement protects lives and improves population health, saving the public costs in the long term,” and that the District Court’s order “will have a profound, negative impact on patients across the country.” It also emphasizes that cost-free coverage of evidence-based, preventive-care services should be “placed in a body insulated from undue political pressure” and that “for over a decade, the Task Force made effective, evidence-based recommendations for preventive services without political influence.” The brief states that, “At the very least, the Court should sever the statute so that the Task Force is subject to the minimum constitutionally required executive branch oversight and leave the preventive care requirement in place.”