The National Health Law Program, on behalf of 17 Medicaid and health advocacy organizations, filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Court is considering the case Braidwood v. Becerra, which challenges the requirement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that most health plans cover certain preventive services without cost-sharing. The amicus brief explains to the court that, if successful, the Braidwood challenge could have profound, harmful consequences for individuals and families who are insured through the Medicaid program.
“The Braidwood challenge is serious and could have repercussions far beyond health plans sold in the private market. The Medicaid Act ties coverage of preventive services to the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (PSTF) and immunization recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), both of which Braidwood has challenged in this lawsuit,” said Jane Perkins, Litigation Director at the National Health Law Program. “Our brief demonstrates the harm that low-income people would face, including children, if the ACA’s preventative services are ruled unconstitutional by the 5th Circuit.”
“The stakes are high in this case. Millions of low-income adults, including people with disabilities, rely on Medicaid and could lose access to potentially life-saving preventative services and vaccines. Millions of children receive immunizations for preventable illnesses through the Medicaid Vaccines for Children program,” said Wayne Turner, Senior Attorney at the National Health Law Program. “At risk are screenings for lung and colorectal cancer, hepatitis B and hepatitis C screenings for adults, coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which reduces the risk of contracting HIV by ninety-nine percent, and a host of prenatal and postnatal services. The ACA’s preventive services coverage requirements were meant to ensure access to life-saving care and respond to new evidence and medical advancements. If the Braidwood plaintiffs succeed, the harm will be incalculable.”