Braidwood Management Inc., et al. v. Becerra, et al.

Date Filed: March 29, 2020
Status: Pending
District Court: Northern District of Texas – No. 4:20-cv-00283
Appellate Court: Fifth Circuit – No. 23-10326
Nature of Suit: Challenge of Regulatory Mandate
Defendant Type: Federal
Plaintiff Type: Private

Braidwood Management, an organization that represents Christian businesses based in Texas, and a group of individuals from Texas filed a complaint to challenge parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), claiming that the zero-cost-sharing guarantee for preventive services requirement violate the Appointment and Vesting clauses, nondelegation doctrine, and Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The ACA component at issue is the requirement that private health plans cover services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent volunteer advisory board of medical experts. These recommended preventive services include annual wellness visits, pregnancy care, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as well as screenings for cancer, sexually transmitted infections, and depression.

At the Northern District of Texas, Justice O’Connor ruled that the preventive service requirement violated the Appointments Clause and that the requirement to cover PrEP violated the employer-plaintiff’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. However, the court rejected the plaintiff’s nondelegation doctrine claim. The ruling blocks enforcement for zero-cost preventive services recommended by the USPSTF since 2010, but not those made prior to that date and it also does not affect the requirement for plans to cover Women’s Preventive Services recommended by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) or vaccines recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

The Biden administration appealed the decision to the Fifth Circuit and submitted a motion for a partial stay on final judgment pending appeal to temporarily pause the effect of the district court ruling, which the appellate court granted on May 15.

Follow the latest developments of the case on the Source Blog.

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