Texas Judge Overrules Obama, Strikes Down Obamacare Provisions

A federal judge in Texas struck down a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” that requires insurers and employers to cover preventive services for free.

The ruling by Judge Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas applies nationwide.

Judge Reed O’Connor said the Obamacare requirement for insurers to cover care and products recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is unconstitutional because members of that panel were not appointed by the president and approved by the Senate.

The judge said that having a task force of 16 volunteers, usually doctors and scientists, make binding decisions violates the U.S. Constitution’s appointments clause.

The lawsuit was brought by Braidwood Management, which represents a handful of Christian-owned businesses in Texas, that objected to being required to cover birth control and HIV drugs PreP.

According to NBC: “The Biden administration and more than 20 states had asked the judge not rule broadly against the preventive care requirement, which they said millions now relied on to safeguard their health.

“O’Connor, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.”

“Insurers have the money to continue to cover these lifesaving services at no cost. I call on insurance companies to continue to do so, despite what one judge in Texas says,” Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said.

“Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans can get free preventive care like cancer screenings. That saves the country millions and millions of dollars if they detect it early,” Biden said last week.

“Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have access to basic services like maternity care when they wouldn’t otherwise have that.”

According to The Hill:

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The ACA requires insurers to cover, without cost-sharing, more than 100 preventive health services recommended by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force. Cost sharing will likely deter patients — particularly those of limited means — from scheduling mammograms, colonoscopies and other procedures.

O’Connor ruled that the panel itself is unconstitutional because its members — 16 volunteer scientists and medical professionals — are not appointed by the president or confirmed by the Senate, yet its recommendations are binding.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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