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Capitol Correspondence - 11.30.21

Federal Courts Block CMS Vaccine Rule

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On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri issued a preliminary injunction against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to block implementation and enforcement of the CMS interim final rule that requires certain Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for health care workers. The CMS rule covers Intermediate Care Facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The preliminary injunction applies to ten states: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The court found that while a mandatory vaccination policy may be appropriate for long-term care facilities, the rule’s scope was too broad in applying to other Medicare- and Medicaid- certified providers. The court also stated that CMS lacked the authority to issue the vaccine rule and violated the Administrative Procedure Act in the promulgation of the rule.

The following day, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction against CMSWhile the Missouri order only covered the ten challenging states, the decision out of Louisiana includes a nationwide injunction.