Two federal district courts have issued preliminary orders that will prevent the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from enforcing its regulation requiring workers in most health care settings that receive reimbursements from Medicare or Medicaid to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (coronavirus). CMS issued its rule on November 5, 2021, the same day that OSHA issued a similar vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees. In the first court case, the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming successfully persuaded a federal district judge in Missouri that CMS’s rule should be placed on hold in their states until a hearing can be held (Missouri v. Biden, ED Mo, Nov. 2021). The next day, a federal district court judge in Louisiana issued a similar ruling, but applied it to all of the U.S. except the 10 states that had filed the lawsuit in Missouri (Louisiana v. Becerra, WD La, Nov. 2021).
Tips: As a result of the two court decisions, CMS is prohibited from enforcing its vaccine mandate on health care employers nationwide until the courts have an opportunity to fully consider the mandate and make a final ruling. Vigilant will keep members posted on further developments.