A Missouri federal court has issued a temporary injunction against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers at Medicare-funded and Medicare-certified facilities, stating that Congress never granted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the authority to issue such a requirement.
This will prevent facilities in 10 states from firing workers who are non-compliant with the federal mandate.
“The mandate requires nearly every employee, volunteer, and third-party contractor working at fifteen catogires of healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (“COVID”) and to have received at least a first dose of the vaccine prior to December 6, 2021,” Judge Matthew Schelp wrote, according to court documents.
“Congress did not grant CMS authority to mandate the vaccine. Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their argument that Congress has not provided CMS the authority to enact the regulation at issue here,” the injunction stated.
“Given the vast economic and political significance of this vaccine mandate, only a clear authorization from Congress would empower CMS to act,” the ruling continued.
“Because this mandate significantly alters the balance between federal and state power, only a clear authorization from Congress would empower CMS. In the absence of a clear indication that Congress intended for CMS to invoke such significant authority, the Court will not infer congressional intent.”
Notably, the judge also highlighted the inevitability that firing large numbers of vaccine-resistant healthcare workers would surely result in diminished access to healthcare services for many Americans, while the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus was less sure.
“According to CMS, the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent disease transmission by those vaccinated is not currently known, what is known based on the evidence before the Court is that the mandate will have a crippling effect on a significant number of healthcare facilities in Plaintiffs’ states, especially in rural areas, services (resulting in no medical care at all in some instances), and jeopardize the lives of numerous vulnerable citizens. The prevalent, tangible, and irremediable impact of the mandate tips the balance of equities in favor of a preliminary injunction,” the federal judge stated.
As Fox 2 reported, the lawsuit was filed by Missouri, and joined by Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire.
Missouri Governor Mike Parsons celebrated the ruling on Facebook, as did the state’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who called the Biden mandate “an egregious overreach.”
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