Missouri federal court halts vaccine mandate for some healthcare workers in 10 states

Missouri

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A Missouri court is halting a federal vaccine mandate at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services healthcare facilities. It applies to workers at Medicare and Medicare-certified medical facilities. Employees are supposed to have the first dose of a vaccine before December 6.

The states challenging the mandate are Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire. They argue that the mandate’s economic costs are overwhelming and that it alters the relationship between states and the federal government.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson posted this Facebook status update: “GOOD NEWS: Today, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, issued a preliminary injunction halting the Biden Administration from enforcing its vaccine mandate on healthcare workers in Missouri.”

“The Missouri-led coalition just obtained an injunction halting Joe Biden’s CMS Healthcare worker vaccine mandate. This was an egregious overreach. We’re fighting back and winning. More to come,” Attorney General Eric Schmitt posted to Facebook.

The suit references the CMS estimate it at 1.38 billion and that does not account for employees leaving or facilities closing over the mandate. CMS said that COVID-19 vaccine requirements by private health systems and previous vaccine mandates by states for other diseases have not led to widespread resignations of health care workers.

The court finds it unlikely that the CMS has the authority to implement the mandate and that it is an “unlawful promulgation of regulations” and that the “vaccine mandate is
arbitrary or capricious.”

Workplace vaccine mandates have become more common recently and generally have resulted in significant compliance.

In New York City, more than 90% of city employees had received the vaccine before a Nov. 1 mandate began. But The New York Times reported that about 9,000 were placed on paid leave for not complying and thousands of others sought religious or medical exemptions.

In the private sector, United Airlines recently required 67,000 U.S. employees to get vaccinated or face termination. Only a couple hundred refused to do so, although about 2,000 sought exemptions. In August, Tyson Foods told its 120,000 U.S. workers that they must be vaccinated by Nov. 1. As of last week, the company said more than 96% of its workforce was vaccinated, including 60,500 people who got their shots after the August announcement.

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