(TheLastPatriotNews.com) – A federal judge has blocked an Obamacare mandate for health insurance coverage of preventive care, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV (PrEP) and screenings for cancer, diabetes, and depression.
The free preventive care mandate of the Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is officially known, was stopped by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas.
O’Connor, an appointee of former Republican President George W. Bush, previously ruled that the PrEP mandate broke a federal religious freedom law.
He also found that other Obamacare mandates for disease prevention were established upon instructions by a task force appointed illegally, Newsmax reported.
In a new move, the federal judge has now ruled the federal government cannot enforce the mandates.
The report notes that the ruling is deemed a “victory for conservative businesses and individuals” that challenged them in court in 2020.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Obamacare, is yet to react to O’Connor’s ruling.
Two companies and eight individuals filed the lawsuit against the preventive care mandates of the Affordable Care Act, all based in Texas.
In their legal challenge, they declared that Obamacare’s free PrEP requirement forces business owners and consumers to pay for services that “encourage homosexual behavior, prostitution, sexual promiscuity and intravenous drug use” – and that they were obliged to do so in disregard of their religious beliefs.
The plaintiffs also argued the Preventive Services Task Force – the advisory panel that recommended the free preventive care – was illegal. That was because its members weren’t appointed directly by the president, and the plaintiffs insisted that was a constitutional requirement.
Under Obamacare, however, any task force recommendations become mandatory and part of the law.
The plaintiffs were legally represented with the support of the America First Legal Foundation, a conservative nonprofit founded by Stephen Miller, a former adviser of President Donald Trump.
Last year, medical groups warned that a potential ruling like what O’Connor has now issued could deprive millions of people of preventive care access and worsen their outcomes.
In 2018, judge Reed O’Connor made national headlines by ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act, the landmark legislative accomplishment of Democrat President Barack Obama, was unconstitutional. His decision was subsequently overturned.
The makers of the PrEP drugs approved in the United States to prevent HIV – Gilead Sciences Inc and ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture of GSK Plc, Pfizer Inc., and Shionogi & Co Ltd. – are yet to react to the ruling.
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A federal judge in Texas on Thursday blocked Obamacare's mandate that health insurance plans cover preventive care, including pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV (PrEP) and screenings for cancer, diabetes and depression at no cost to patients. https://t.co/Ref75GzeI9
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) March 30, 2023