The Braidwood Management v. Becerra Lawsuit Puts Lifesaving Care for Millions At Risk
Washington DC — This week, two dozen patient and provider groups filed briefs warning that eliminating free preventive care services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) puts the health and well-being of millions of patients at risk. The briefs follow a response from the Biden administration against the ideologically driven lawsuit seeking to rip away core preventive health protections. The Braidwood Management (formerly Kelley) v. Becerra lawsuit threatens the ACA requirement that guarantees free access to over 100 preventive health services, including health screenings, routine vaccinations, well baby and child visits, prenatal care, contraception, and more. In 2020 alone, more than 150 million Americans used these services.
In September, Judge Reed O’Connor ruled against a key set of preventive services covered under the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, including lifesaving colorectal and other cancer screenings, depression screenings, hypertension screenings, and access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). The conservative plaintiffs, backed by right-wing legal activists, have called on Judge O’Connor to throw out all of the guaranteed preventive services under the ACA. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:
“This is a politically-driven lawsuit that threatens the health and financial security of millions of Americans. If the plaintiffs get their way, American families will once again be at the mercy of their insurance companies and employers, who could make it harder to access cancer screenings, prenatal care, vaccinations, and more. Free preventive care has become a bedrock of the American health care system, improving health outcomes, reducing inequities, cutting consumer health care costs, and saving lives. Without free access to preventive care, Americans will face impossible choices between going to the doctor for routine cancer screenings and paying groceries and housing.”
More From The Briefs:
Patient Groups Led By The American Cancer Society: “Ending No-Cost Access To Proven Preventive Services Nationwide Would Have A Profoundly Negative Effect On The Ability Of Millions Of Patients To Get The Care They Need.” “Ending no-cost access to proven preventive services nationwide would have a profoundly negative effect on the ability of millions of patients to get the care they need in a timely and effective manner. Numerous research studies have proven the benefits of these services. They ensure people can prevent, detect and treat their conditions as early as possible, improving health outcomes and saving patients and the health care system money. Whether it’s a doctor-recommended colonoscopy that finds 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, smoking cessation services that help someone end a tobacco addiction, or medication that prevents the acquisition of HIV, these services are critical to people’s health.” [American Cancer Society, 11/30/22]
- The following patient groups signed the brief: American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Kidney Fund, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, CancerCare, Cancer Support Community, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Minority Quality Forum, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Patient Advocate Foundation, The Aids Institute and WomenHeart.
Physicians Organizations Led By The American Medical Association: “No-Cost Preventive Care Saves Lives, Saves Money, Improves Health Outcomes, And Enables Healthier Lifestyles.” “The research is clear: no-cost preventive care saves lives, saves money, improves health outcomes, and enables healthier lifestyles. As medical professionals, amici know that preventive care can mean the difference between kicking a smoking habit or living with a heightened risk of dozens of illnesses; between taking a statin or suffering a life-changing heart attack; between providing essential prenatal care and screening or leaving children behind; and between catching a patient’s cancer early or catching it after it’s too late. Identifying and treating conditions before they worsen, or before they present at all, yields better outcomes for patients and saves money for the health system overall.” [American Medical Association, 12/1/22]
- The following provider groups signed the brief: The American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The American Medical Women’s Association, The Infectious Diseases Society of America, The National Medical Association, and The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.