• Family Physicians Alarmed Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra Ruling Threatens Preventive Care

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2023

    Statement attributable to:
    Tochi Iroku-Malize, MD, FAAFP
    American Academy of Family Physicians

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is alarmed and disappointed by a federal court’s March 30 ruling in Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra. If upheld, this decision would render unconstitutional the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement for insurers and health plans to cover preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), jeopardizing equitable, affordable access to evidence-based preventive services for millions.

    “We are alarmed that the court’s decision will create insurmountable barriers to screenings, counseling, and preventive medications that improve individual patient and population health, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications for the prevention of HIV.”

    “Eliminating the ACA’s requirement to cover services recommended by the USPSTF with no cost-sharing could result in millions of patients losing free coverage of screenings for cancer, heart disease, sexually transmitted infections, obesity, and mental health conditions, along with tobacco-cessation counseling and other essential preventive services. For many patients, this loss will place preventive care out of reach financially.

    “Preventive care, which family physicians routinely provide, is necessary to keep our nation healthy and reduce health care expenditures. Research demonstrates that health care systems that prioritize access to primary and preventive care improve patient outcomes and lower health care costs, including decreases in costly hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

    “While we are relieved that the court upheld the contraceptive coverage mandate and coverage requirements for immunizations and preventive services recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Health Resources and Services Administration, the AAFP urgently calls on lawmakers, insurers, and health plan sponsors to ensure that patients can continue to access high-value, essential preventive services without cost-sharing.”    

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    About American Academy of Family Physicians
    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 130,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits — that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine and the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, visit www.aafp.org. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.