Court order that could end US health law’s preventative care mandate put on hold

A federal judge’s ruling striking down a key part of the Affordable Care Act has been temporarily put on hold by a federal appeals court in New Orleans

ByKEVIN McGILL Associated Press

Health Law Preventive Services

FILE – The healthcare.gov website is seen on Dec. 14, 2021, in Fort Washington, Md. A federal judge’s ruling striking down a part of the Affordable Care Act requiring most insurers to cover preventive care including vaccines and screenings for cancer, diabetes and HIV was temporarily put on hold Monday, May 15, 2023, by a federal appeals court in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court in New Orleans temporarily put on hold Monday a federal judge’s ruling striking down a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires most insurers to cover preventative care including vaccines and screenings for cancer, diabetes and HIV.

Without comment, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an “administrative stay” of the March 30 ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas.

The Biden administration had asked for a stay as it appealed the March 30 decision. Administration lawyers said in court filings that O’Connor’s decision would affect preventive care for 150 million people.

O’Connor, a nominee of former President George W. Bush, is the same judge who ruled more than four years ago that the entire health care law, a signature achievement of former President Barack Obama, was unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned that ruling.

In his March ruling, O’Conner blocked only the requirement that most insurers cover a range of preventive care. The ruling was a win for plaintiffs who include a conservative activist in Texas and a Christian dentist who opposed mandatory coverage for both contraception and an HIV prevention treatment on religious

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