Democrats on key House and Senate health committees have requested information from a dozen major health insurance companies and trade groups on how they plan to respond to the ruling from Texas that struck down the preventive services provision in the Affordable Care Act.
The lawmakers sent out letters to major insurance providers including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group. The letters asked whether consumers would experience interruptions in their coverage in light of the ruling issued by U.S District Judge Reed O’Connor last month.
“The Republican-appointed judge’s decision to strike down the ACA’s preventive services coverage requirement nationwide is inconsistent with the law and is of dubious legal merit. The decision will imperil access to lifesaving care, roll back the significant health care gains that have been made under the ACA, and worsen racial and ethnic inequities,” the letter lawmakers sent to Blue Cross Blue Shield read.
They further asserted that the company had control over whether zero-cost sharing for preventive services continued despite the ruling from Texas.
The letter was signed by Democratic leaders from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ways and Means Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. Senate leaders from the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions also added their names to the inquiries.
O’Connor ruled that the panel that issues binding recommendations on which preventive services should be covered at no cost was unconstitutional, as the volunteers members were not appointed by the president or confirmed by the Senate.
Services that were covered under this provision included cancer screenings, pregnancy screenings, contraception and preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV.
“The Republican-appointed judge’s decision to invalidate the preventive services requirement nationwide puts lives at risk and will result in loss of access to lifesaving care,” the Democrat-signed letter read. “We are very concerned that the decision will roll back the significant health care gains that have been made under the ACA and will worsen racial and ethnic inequities.”