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June 28, 2024

Braidwood Management v. Becerra Decided

  • On July 21, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its opinion in a case challenging the authority of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to make binding preventive services recommendations under the Affordable Care Act. 
  • The Court agreed with the lower court that USPSTF members are principal officers of the U.S. due to the binding nature of their recommendations. (HHS argued unsuccessfully that they were inferior officers.) Under the Constitution, the President must appoint principal officers with the advice and consent of the Senate. 
  • The Court granted relief to the individual plaintiffs but rejected the district court’s grant of universal injunction against enforcement of USPSTF recommendations since ACA enactment. The Court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.
  • The political ball is in the Biden Administration’s court.
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