FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations
Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD
“Today’s decision by U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor is disastrous for public health. In extending the ruling to all ACA-compliant plans, not just the plaintiffs, Judge O’Connor threatens the health of all Americans.
Preventive health services save lives. This decision limits the availability of proactive care procedures that reduce unnecessary pain, suffering and death, along with being more cost-effective.
This decision jeopardizes access to lifesaving cancer screenings and early detection of other potentially fatal medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes and sexually transmitted infections, along with PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment. It also strikes down the requirement that insurers cover copays for cholesterol treatment, tobacco and alcohol cessation, immunizations and childhood screenings for lead poisoning, hearing loss and autism, making healthcare inaccessible for millions of American citizens across the nation.
This decision will disproportionately impact low-income and historically marginalized communities, as they are least able to afford preventive care and often at high risk of developing preventable medical conditions.
We urge the Biden administration to appeal the ruling and hope that the judge or a higher court will issue a stay while it goes through the appeal process.
In the meantime, we strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of the care still available to them today and to let their employer and public officials know that you demand preventive care.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a healthy life. We, as a nation, cannot let this stand. We will all suffer."
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.