CMS Stopped from Imposing Vaccine Mandate

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] has been halted from imposing a vaccine mandate on a wide range of healthcare facilities. A federal court in Missouri found in favor of a group of 11 Republican states when it issued an injunction against the proposed rule. 

The proposed mandate requires nearly every employee, volunteer, and third-party contractor working at 15 categories of healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against Covid and to receive their first dose by December 6, 2021. 

The Court found that it had jurisdiction to hear the matter and that her preliminary injunction was warranted. The Court reason that Congress did not grant CMS authority to mandate the vaccine. The reason that Congress did not intend for CMS to invoke such significant authority. The Court also found that CMS improperly bypass the notice and comment requirements under the law. "The Covid pandemic is an event beyond CMS is control yet it was completely within its control to act earlier than it did.” 

The Court also found that the mandate is arbitrary and capricious. "CMS lacks evidence showing that vaccine status has a direct impact on spreading COVID in the mandates covered healthcare facilities.” The court concluded that “… the mandate’s benefits outweigh the risk to the healthcare industry, CMS did not properly consider all necessary or reliance interest of facilities, healthcare workers, and patients.” 

In reaching its conclusion the Court found that the plaintiffs demonstrated irreparable form if the vaccine mandate was to be imposed.  The Court concluded that "The public has an interest in stopping the spread of Covid. No one disputes that. But the court concludes that the public would suffer little, if any, harm for maintaining the ‘status quo'  through the litigation of this case.”

State of Missouri, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr.  Case No. 4:21-cv-01329-MTS 

By Jon L. Gelman

Courtesy of Workers' Compensation

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