Nicholas Bagley Discusses the Braidwood v Becerra Ruling

Nicholas Bagley, JD, says immediate effects of the ruling have been modest so far.

Nicholas Bagley, JD, professor at Michigan Law, University of Michigan, spoke to The American Journal of Managed Care® about the Braidwood v Becerra ruling and the uncertainty around decisions that will follow if it is upheld.


What are the immediate effects of the ruling in Braidwood v Becerra?

The decision isn't going to have an immediate or dramatic effect, and that's for a couple of reasons. First, and most importantly, I think most employers and insurers are kind of in a watching and waiting mood. They're looking to see what's going to happen with this case on appeal. I think very few, if any, [are going to be making serious] or sweeping changes to their coverage choices. That may actually end up being the case, even if the plaintiffs win—that there will be a relatively small number of employers that really change up what they're doing. But there's a fair amount of uncertainty around that and what kinds of decisions they’ll make if the decision is eventually upheld.

The government has already appealed the judge's decision and asked the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to put a hold on his decision while the Fifth Circuit considers it. That effort to get a state pending appeal has been opposed by the plaintiffs who are also going to take an appeal of their own. But in the meantime, I think, right now, we are mostly in a waiting mode. The longer this drags on, the more employers and insurers may decide that they want to try to change their offerings. But for now, it seems that their response has been pretty modest.

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