WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 15, 2023 – Leading patient groups representing millions of patients with chronic diseases and acute conditions are applauding the ruling today out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit staying the U.S District Court’s remedy in Braidwood Management v. Becerra, a case which threatens coverage of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended preventive services without cost sharing as required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In November, patient groups representing millions of people with serious health conditions submitted an amicus brief urging the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas to preserve the requirement. The brief included scientific data on how preventive care saves lives and is cost-effective and the negative impact compromising the federal law’s guarantee of no cost prevention and screenings would have on health outcomes. In late April, the groups weighed in again, asking the 5th Circuit to stay a ruling by the lower court that would have kept the Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing that provision of the ACA.
The groups, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Arthritis Foundation, American Kidney Fund, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and The AIDS Institute (full list is below), issued the following statement in reaction to today’s ruling:
“On behalf of the millions of people with chronic, serious, and acute health conditions we serve, we’re pleased the Court has issued an administrative stay that maintains continued access to cost-free preventive services coverage while the judicial process continues. Although we continue to disagree with Judge O’Connor’s underlying decision on the merits, we are grateful the stay issued today by the 5th Circuit will allow patients continued access to the life-saving services they need.
“The ACA protections put at-risk by this case have led to better disease management and early detection for many of our nation’s most serious conditions. More Americans are able to access critical services like colonoscopies that find a polyp before it becomes cancer, a low-dose CT scan that identifies early stage lung cancer, a screening for diabetes that saves someone from developing potentially life-threatening kidney disease, a blood pressure test that alerts someone to their increased risk for a heart attack or medication that prevents the contraction of HIV, all available due to evidence-based prevention and screening recommended by USPSTF.
“The stay prevents restoration of cost barriers for critical services that prevent and protect against chronic illness and death – a decision that will alleviate concern for the patients and families we serve and ensure that such critical coverage will continue. On behalf of the millions of people we serve, we will continue to advocate for the Fifth Circuit to overturn the lower court’s decision on the merits so access to no-cost preventive services as required under the ACA continues uninterrupted.”
The full list of groups who joined the amicus are as follows: American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Kidney Fund, Arthritis Foundation, CancerCare, Cancer Support Community, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National Minority Quality Forum, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Patient Advocate Foundation, The AIDS Institute, and WomenHeart.