The Justice Department will seek an injunction to stop a recent ruling that struck down provisions of the Affordable Care Act that required insurers to provide free preventive services, a department spokesman said Wednesday.

Last month, a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that health insurers cover some free preventive care services, such as cancer screenings and medications to prevent HIV. The ruling means patients would have to pay for some preventive services that are currently free, potentially putting life-saving tests like cancer screening out of reach for many, experts said.

The Department of Justice will request a stay of the case, which means that the judge’s decision will not take effect immediately while the case goes through the appeals process.

«For more than a decade, the Affordable Care Act has ensured that millions of Americans have access to critical preventative health care,» a Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement. «To protect Americans who have come to depend on the preventative health care measures at issue, the Department of Justice will request a stay in this case.»

US District Judge Reed O’Connor, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, struck down the Obamacare provision in late March. In the ruling, O’Connor cited his earlier decision on the structure of the US Preventive Services Task Force, which is created under Obamacare and helps determine coverage for preventive services, saying it violates the appointments clause of the Constitution and thus its related preventative care mandates. they are illegal.

O’Connor also said that Obamacare’s requirement to cover drugs that prevent HIV, known as PrEP, violates the plaintiffs’ religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

O’Connor had previously ruled against the Affordable Care Act in a 2018 case, a decision that was ultimately overturned.

a report of KFF, formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundationpublished in March, found that in 2018 about 60% of the 173 million people with private health insurance used at least one of the free preventive services required by the ACA.

summer conception contributed.