“This is yet another baseless legal battle that threatens care and coverage for millions of people.”
Executive Director Emily Stewart


March 30, 2023

CONTACT: Jack Cardinal, (781) 960-5208, jcardinal@communitycatalyst.org 

(BOSTON, MA) — This morning, in a ruling that could affect 150 million people, a U.S. District Court judge struck down a major provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provides no-cost preventive care for a range of services. This includes, but is not limited to, cancer screenings, HIV screening & prevention care, mental health screenings, perinatal preventive care & screenings, tobacco cessation services, and even some preventive dental services for children. It is the latest in a series of attacks opponents of the ACA, long defeated in Congress, have waged through the court system. 

Statement from Emily Stewart, Executive Director of Community Catalyst: 

“At a time when we should be celebrating record ACA enrollment and preparing for the unwinding of the Public Health Emergency, we are instead faced with yet another baseless legal battle that threatens preventive care and coverage for millions of people. 

“At Community Catalyst, we are working alongside our state and community partners to put people at the center of these decisions by protecting access to the full range of preventive care at no-cost. We are also pushing policymakers at the state and federal level to make sure that this benefit is available for people in the same way it has been for more than ten years. At the same time, we call on all health insurance companies to immediately issue a statement that they will continue to cover these services as they currently do. We will not stop fighting until everyone has equitable access to the care they want and need to be healthy.

“The District Court’s ruling strips away critical protections for a range of essential preventive care which could impact access to no-copay cancer screenings, pre- and postnatal care, as well as other preventive care like PrEP. The loss of these benefits would disproportionately impact the financial health and wellbeing of Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+ and other systemically-excluded communities who already face discriminatory barriers to affordable health coverage and care. At this moment of great need, we should be strengthening and expanding the Affordable Care Act, not systematically undermining it as many are and as this ruling will.”

Additional Background:

  • In September 2022, a federal judge ruled that the ACA’s requirement for health plans to cover certain preventive services at no cost was unconstitutional. In this case, the judge ruled that the plaintiff, a privately held company with religious objections, was not required to cover PrEP, a preventative measure protecting people from contracting HIV, under its health insurance plan offered to employees. 
  • an additional opinion was offered by the same judge which expanded upon the first ruling to throw out the no-cost preventive coverage requirement nationwide.
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, including but not limited to: cancer screenings as well as screenings for heart disease, Hepatitis B and C viruses, and hypertension, as well as alcohol, substance use, tobacco cessation, depression screenings, and breastfeeding services.
  • The loss of guaranteed preventive care under the Affordable Care Act would affect millions of people, including more than 150 million people with private insurance, and within that 58 million women and 37 million children.
  • The decision is expected to be appealed to the Fifth District Court and likely the Supreme Court.

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“We will not stop fighting until everyone has equitable access to the care they want and need to be healthy.”
Executive Director Emily Stewart

About Community Catalyst: 

Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for race equity and health justice. We partner with local, state and national advocates to leverage and build power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit http://www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth