The Facts

  • A federal judge in Texas on Thursday struck down an Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate requiring health insurance plans to cover preventive care, including screenings for certain cancers and pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV (PrEP), at no cost to patients.

  • US District Judge Reed O’Connor sided with Christian-owned businesses and six individuals in a follow-up to a Sept. 7 partial ruling that stated requiring companies to cover PrEP pills violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Spin

Democratic narrative

This is a terrible decision that has jeopardized the health of millions of Americans by eliminating coverage requirements for vital preventive care. Screenings for various cancers and other diseases have saved lives and allowed millions of middle- and low-income Americans to receive necessary services; now, those services will be inaccessible.

Republican narrative

This ruling is legitimate both in terms of enforcing freedom of religion and in terms of the statute being unconstitutional. First, the mandate was recommended by a task force not directly appointed by the president. Second, the plaintiffs believe some of these drugs, particularly the ones related to HIV, encourage a lifestyle they can’t be forced to endorse on religious grounds. O'Connor is right.

Metaculus Prediction

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