NATIONAL NEWS

‘Obamacare’ will still cover prevention for HIV, other illnesses amid court battle

Jun 13, 2023, 7:45 AM

FILE - The healthcare.gov website is seen on Dec. 14, 2021, in Fort Washington, Md. Affordable Care...

FILE - The healthcare.gov website is seen on Dec. 14, 2021, in Fort Washington, Md. Affordable Care Act requirements that health insurance plans include coverage of HIV prevention, some types of cancer screenings and other preventive care can stay in place while a court battle over the mandates plays out, under a court agreement approved Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The government can keep enforcing “Obamacare” requirements that health insurance plans cover preventative care — such as HIV prevention, some types of cancer screenings and other illnesses — while a legal battle over the mandates plays out, under a court agreement approved Tuesday.

The pact approved by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals preserves — at least for now — cost-free preventive care coverage for millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

That coverage was thrown into question by a March ruling from a federal judge in Texas, who said some of the preventive care requirements under former President Barack Obama’s 13-year-old health care law are unconstitutional.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor had nationwide effects. The Biden administration had argued last week at the appeals court that the ruling should be stayed while appeals are pursued.

The agreement was filed with the court Monday. In it, the plaintiffs in the case, including a Christian dentist who opposes coverage for contraception and HIV prevention on religious grounds, agreed to a broad stay nationwide. In return, during the appeal process, the handful of plaintiffs would be allowed to provide insurance plans that don’t include the preventive care. If O’Connor’s ruling were reversed, they would have to provide the coverage, but they would not be penalized for having dumped the coverage during appeals.

O’Connor’s March ruling deals with requirements for coverage driven by recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The judge ruled that because the task force is made up of volunteers, enforcing its recommendations violates the Constitution’s Appointment Clause, which lays out how government officials can be appointed.

Not all preventive care was threatened by O’Connor’s ruling. An analysis by the nonprofit KFF foundation found that some screenings, including mammography and cervical cancer screening, would still be covered without out-of-pocket costs because the task force recommended them before the health care law was enacted in March 2010.

National News

Associated Press

Las Vegas shooting survivors alarmed at US Supreme Court’s strike down of ban on rifle bump stocks

Survivors of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas and families who received somber calls from police hours later said they were alarmed when the U.S. Supreme Court Friday struck down a ban on the gun attachment used by the shooter who rattled off over 1,000 bullets into a crowd of thousands in 11 minutes. […]

5 minutes ago

Associated Press

Prosecutor says ATF agent justified in fatal shooting of Little Rock airport director during raid

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas prosecutor on Friday said a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent was justified when he fatally shot the Little Rock airport director during a raid at his house in March. Pulaski County Prosecutor Will Jones said in a letter to ATF that no charges in the […]

13 minutes ago

Associated Press

Dogs’ digs at the Garden: Westminster show returning to Madison Square Garden next year

NEW YORK (AP) — Madison Square Garden is going back to the dogs. The Westminster Kennel Club announced this week that its storied dog show is returning next year to the Manhattan arena for the first time since 2020. That year’s show was held weeks before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and shutdowns began in […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Trooper with checkered FBI past convicted of child rape in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former FBI agent was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl while serving as an Alabama state trooper — a law enforcement job he landed even after he was kicked out of the FBI amid earlier claims that he raped a co-worker at knifepoint. Christopher Bauer’s case, first detailed […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Reacting to Supreme Court ruling, governor wrongly says Buffalo supermarket killer used bump stock

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Around an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ban on bump stocks, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wrongly said a gunman who carried out a racist massacre in her hometown of Buffalo had used the gun accessory that can allow semiautomatic rifles to shoot as fast as a machine […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Kansas governor and GOP leaders say they have a deal on tax cuts to end 2 years of stalemate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ Democratic governor and top Republican lawmakers say they have an agreement on a package of broad tax cuts, potentially ending a two-year political standoff that has prevented their state from following others in making big reductions. The deal announced late Thursday by Gov. Laura Kelly and GOP leaders would save […]

4 hours ago

‘Obamacare’ will still cover prevention for HIV, other illnesses amid court battle