Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states

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A judge on Monday blocked the federal government from making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for health care workers in ten states.

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US District Judge Matthew Shelp in the Eastern District of Missouri wrote in his judgment That rules handed out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid earlier this month were improperly issued. The agency did not receive approval from Congress to mandate vaccinations for health care workers, Scalp wrote, which he argued was necessary given the “huge economic and political importance” of the mandate. The rules were also issued without a standard period for public comment, which Skelp said the agency’s justification was not appropriate.

“Indeed, the impact of this mandate reaches far beyond COVID,” Skelp wrote. “CMS seeks to move beyond the realm of traditional state authority by making an unprecedented demand for millions of Americans to federally direct private medical decisions. Such action challenges traditional notions of federalism.”


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Scalp also called the mandate “arbitrary and arbitrary”, arguing that the CMS “does not have evidence that vaccination status has a direct impact on the spread of COVID” in covered health care facilities; The agency has primarily pointed to data from long-term care facilities in its defense.

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“No one questions that protecting patients and health care workers from contracting COVID is a laudable objective,” he wrote. “But the court cannot, in good faith, allow the CMS to impose an unprecedented mandate which lacks a ‘reasonable connection between the facts found and the choice made’.”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt led the lawsuit along with Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota and New Hampshire. Scalp’s order prevents the federal government from requiring providers in those states to have vaccinations for workers.

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Schmidt, a Republican running for the US Senate, called the ruling “a major victory for health care workers in Missouri and across the country, including rural hospitals that were facing definite collapse because of this mandate.” Schmidt has been one of the most vocal state-level opponents of the Biden administration’s vaccine orders, also suing for blocking the mandate for large private sector businesses And federal employees and contractors, Both of those mandates are under trial in multiple courts, and the latter is currently blocked.

Due to internal requirements issued earlier this year, the workforce of many of the largest health care providers in Missouri has been almost completely vaccinated against COVID-19. Mercy, which employs 40,000 and has facilities across the state, said on October 28 that 100 percent of staff members were fully vaccinated. Springfield-based CoxHealth said in late September that 85 percent of its 12,500 employees had received at least one dose or had received an extension to get the vaccine. “Less than two percent” of Mercy’s employees were not vaccinated, and about 50 Cox employees resigned because of its mandate.

Missouri ranks last in the nation for the percentage of nursing home staff vaccinated against COVID – currently at 58.77%, according to Data compiled by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid,

Who is covered by Biden’s new vaccine mandate and when do they go into effect? Here we know.

Galen Bacharier covers Missouri politics and government for the news-leader. contact him [email protected], (573) 219-7440 or on Twitter @galenbacharier,

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