HIV protection, cancer screenings could cost more if ‘Obamacare’ loses latest court battle

June 5, 2023  -NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judge’s order that would eliminate requirements that health insurance plans include cost-free coverage of HIV-preventing drugs, cancer screenings and various other types of preventive care should remain on hold while it is appealed, the Biden administration argued before an appellate panel Tuesday.

It’s the latest legal skirmish over mandates in former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, commonly known as “Obamacare,” which took effect 13 years ago.

Enforcing the judge’s order could jeopardize preventive care for at least some of an estimated 150 million insured people, Alisa Klein, arguing for the administration, told three 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges in New Orleans.

Jonathan Mitchell, arguing for the law’s challengers, said a stay on the ruling is unnecessary. Insurers and employers who provide employee health insurance would be unlikely to drop preventive coverage before the case is finally resolved because they would risk prosecution if they lose, he argued. “No rational employer or insurer can take the risk,” he said.

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