The United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri issued a preliminary injunction Monday that stops the implementation and enforcement of a rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would impose a vaccine mandate on healthcare workers. Sheridan Media’s Ron Richter has the details.
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and Attorney General Bridget Hill entered Wyoming in the lawsuit challenging the federal mandate. Gordon said this is welcome news for Wyoming’s rural healthcare facilities, which are already facing staffing challenges without additional unconstitutional burdens being placed on their employees by the federal government.
The proposed mandate required nearly every employee, volunteer and contractor working at a wide range of healthcare facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicare funding to have received at least a first dose of the vaccine prior to Monday, December 6. The court, in its ruling, agreed to preliminary enjoin implementation and enforcement of the rule because arguments made by Wyoming and a coalition of other states have a likelihood of success on the merits. In the lawsuit, Wyoming and the coalition have argued that CMS does not have authority to issue the mandate, and that it would impact the ability of healthcare facilities to effectively care for patients. The ruling applies only to the 10-state coalition that, along with Wyoming, includes Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire. Gordon said while the ruling is a victory for Wyoming and the other states in the coalition, the case is not over and they will continue their efforts to challenge the mandate through the lawsuit.