Why a Texas health care ruling could have dire impacts on affordability of care

Affordable health care in the United States falls far behind other developed nations and is especially unattainable for certain racial minorities and low-income Americans. A new ruling out of Texas could make matters even worse.


Federal Judge Reed O’Connor struck down Wednesday a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires employer-sponsored insurance to cover certain preventive services – including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that drastically reduces the likelihood of contracting HIV – to ensure patients would not shoulder out-of-pocket costs.


The judge ruled that the provision violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring people to provide coverage that conflicts with their faith or personal beliefs. The decision, which is expected to be challenged, jeopardizes individual health decisions for the more than 13 million Texans and 150 million Americans overall who have employer-sponsored health insurance.