Thursday, December 1, 2022

Brief Blog: NEJM Article Reviews "Braidwood" Case, Would Overturn Role of USPSTF

The Affordable Care Act requires private health plans to cover preventive services endorsed by the USPSTF, and a separate section of Medicare law allows Medicare to create NCDs that give coverage one-by-one to USPSTF preventive services.   The Affordable Care Act use of USPSTF is challenged in a current court case, Braidwood v Becerra.

The topic is reviewed in a new New England Journal article by Mello & O'Connell - here.  In brief, the court case challenges whether USPSTF is an appropriately constituted federal body, when it comes to binding recommendations enacted through other laws by reference to USPSTF.

(Additionally, the judge also found that USPSTF preventive coverage of PrEP for HIV prevention violated employers' religious beliefs to not encourage homosexual behavior.   Religious objections would presumably only attack a few of the preventive requirements, such as contraceptive coverage or PrEP coverage). 

(I read somewhere that one remedy might be for the USPTF to make its independent findings and decisions, but then have them each copied, ratified, and signed by the Secretary of Health, and have the coverage proceed from that, the Secretary being a certified federal officer approved by the Senate.)


Mello & O'Connell is a subscription article; just google "Braidwood" for numerous open resources, e.g. here, here, here.