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22 states petition CMS to repeal health worker vaccine mandate

22 states petition CMS to repeal health worker vaccine mandate
22 states petition CMS to repeal health worker vaccine mandate

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Dive Brief:

  • A group of 22 states led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen filed a petition Thursday calling on the CMS to repeal its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, according to a release.
  • The states argued the requirement has led to worsening staff shortages in the sector, particularly in rural areas.
  • The federal vaccine mandate covering healthcare workers has faced a flurry of legal challenges since it was first announced last year.

Dive Insight:

The rule requires hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities to ensure staff are fully vaccinated or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding.

In January the Supreme Court upheld the mandate in a 5-4 decision, ruling the agency had the authority to impose requirements on those facilities as a condition of their Medicaid and Medicare participation.

On the same day, the high court ruled against a vaccine mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration covering large employers.

Following the decision in favor of the CMS mandate, 10 states brought a challenge seeking to appeal it, though the high court declined to hear that in October.

Joining Knudsen were attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming are also named in the petition.

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