Richard H. Hughes, IV, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in The Hill, in “ObamaCare Faces Key Hearing After Texas Ruling,” by Nathaniel Weixel.

Following is an excerpt:

A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments Monday on the Biden administration’s appeal of a case that threatens the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) promise of free preventive care to more than 150 million people.  

A federal judge in Texas last year ruled that the law’s mandate requiring employers and insurers to cover a host of preventive services, like certain cancer screenings and HIV prevention, was unconstitutional.  

The ruling also invalidated the law’s requirement that employers cover preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication for HIV prevention. 

If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upholds the decision, it could put patients on the hook for the full cost of potentially lifesaving treatments and screenings that are currently free, reshaping the health coverage landscape.  

Without the requirement, health plans and employers can pick and choose which preventive services they cover. Cost-sharing will likely deter patients — particularly those of limited means — from scheduling those procedures.  

“Everything is at stake. Vaccines, disease screening, PrEP for HIV, contraceptives … So we’re really looking at a risk to a lot of current recommended preventive services,” said Richard Hughes, a health care attorney at Epstein Becker Green. 

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