ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Missouri has joined 9 other states in a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the federal mandate requiring healthcare workers to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
The lawsuit—which also cites the Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and some administrators of those bureaucracies—was filed in the U.S. District Court, Missouri's Eastern District, on Nov. 10, 2021, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson. The mandate at issue is the one announced by CMS on Nov. 4, 2021, targeting employees of all health care facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It is distinct from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) mandate that companies with 100 employees or more implement a vaccine requirement. More than two dozen states including Missouri have sued OSHA over that mandate, and the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has placed a stay on it. As a result, OSHA has said it will suspend operations on implementing that mandate.
The lawsuit over the CMS mandate is more recent. In it, the 10 states filing the suit did not mince words: "The CMS vaccine mandate threatens with job loss millions of healthcare workers who risked their lives in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to care for strangers and friends in their communities. The Plaintiff States seek to end this dragooning of our States’ healthcare heroes."
They also argued the CMS mandate threatens the already strained healthcare system which is already facing staffing shortages. From the suit: "threatens to exacerbate an alarming shortage of healthcare workers, particularly in rural communities, that has already reached a boiling point. Indeed, the circumstances in the Plaintiff States—facts that CMS, which skipped notice-and-comment rulemaking, did not fully consider—foreshadow an impending disaster in the healthcare industry."
The states also argued the mandate was overreach by the federal government into states' affairs. "This case illustrates why the police power over compulsory vaccination has always been the province of—and still properly belongs to—the States. Vaccination requirements are matters that depends on local factors and conditions... Federalism allows States to tailor such matters in the best interests of their communities. The heavy hand of CMS’s nationwide mandate does not."
At Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Regional Health System recently informed their employees the clock was ticking for them to get the Covid vaccine. The Lake of the Ozarks' largest healthcare provider, Lake Regional pointed to the CMS mandate as the reason they were compelled to require the Covid vaccine of their employees. Read LakeExpo's coverage, here.
Read the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Missouri's Eastern District, here.
Read the Missouri Attorney General's press release about it, here.