On Tuesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel of judges heard arguments on whether they should continue to stay enforcement of a ruling by a Federal Court in Texas which vacated nationally the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) preventive service insurance mandate for services recommended by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). In May, the appellate court had issued a temporary stay of the ruling.
In the case of Braidwood Management, Inc., et al. v. Xavier Becerra, et al. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the ACA's preventive service insurance mandate for services recommended by the USPSTF was vacated nationally. The ACA mandates that group health plans and health insurers cover a long list of preventive health services like cancer screenings, immunizations and contraceptives without out-of-pocket, co-insurance and deductible costs to patients. The Braidwood Management ruling applies to services recommended by the task force made after 2010, when the ACA was enacted.
Yesterday, the appellate court ordered attorneys on both sides of the issue to report by 5:00 pm Friday on the possibility of a temporary compromise on the question of a stay of the ruling.
A lengthy appeals process is expected in this case.