In a win for religious freedom and individual liberties, a federal judge has put a block on a mandate within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires employers to provide health care plans covering certain preventative care services. Among these services was a drug called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is used to prevent HIV.
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) March 30, 2023
Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas ruled that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (PSTF) had unconstitutionally appointed the mandate, violating the Appointments Clause. The plaintiffs, which included six individuals and two Christian-owned businesses, argued that the mandate would force them to provide coverage for behaviors they find immoral, including “homosexual behavior, prostitution, sexual promiscuity, and intravenous drug use.”
The #ACA is the law of the land, and preventative care has kept over 150 million Americans healthier, saved money, and powers our nation’s public and economic health.
— Ways and Means Democrats (@WaysMeansCmte) March 30, 2023
The judge backed the plaintiffs’ arguments, finding that the requirement violated their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). He also stated that forcing religious employers to choose between “purchasing health insurance that violates their religious beliefs and foregoing conventional health insurance altogether” would impose a substantial burden on religious exercise.
This ruling blocks not only the PrEP drug but also a number of other preventative care services recommended by the PSTF, including screenings for diabetes, breast cancer, and depression.
This decision is a significant victory for freedom and personal choice in healthcare, as it prevents government entities from mandating that employers must provide insurance that goes against their religious beliefs. Hopefully, more rulings like this will emerge in the future to protect the religious rights of all Americans.