Court halts CMS from enforcing vaccine mandate on healthcare workers

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 2:47 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. - Monday morning, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, issued a preliminary injunction halting the Biden Administration from enforcing its vaccine mandate on healthcare workers.

On November 10, 2021, North Dakota joined a coalition of 10 states in filing a lawsuit to stop that mandate, which was issued by Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“This is significant for healthcare workers in North Dakota, especially rural hospitals who were facing serious impacts due to this mandate,” said Attorney General Stenehjem. “While today’s ruling is a hopeful moment, there’s more work to be done, and we will continue fighting to push back on this unprecedented federal overreach.”

The court’s preliminary injunction enjoined the Biden Administration from enforcing the vaccine mandate on any “Medicare- and Medicaid-certified [healthcare] providers and suppliers within the States of Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.” The court concluded that CMS did not have the authority to issue the mandate and that its decision was arbitrary and capricious.

“The court’s conclusion that CMS ‘likely did not enact the mandate at issue lawfully’ supports what we’ve said all along about these misguided vaccine mandates: They are blatant federal overreach by the Biden administration,” said Gov. Doug Burgum. “Safe, effective vaccines remain our best defense against COVID-19, but imposing unlawful mandates isn’t the solution. We appreciate the court for granting the preliminary injunction and urge that this rule be blocked permanently.”

“As I said before, this lawsuit is not about whether people should get vaccinated,” Stenehjem said. “Instead, it is about federal overreach and the federal government using an unconstitutional mandate to force front-line health care workers to choose between a vaccination or unemployment. North Dakota is already experiencing a shortage of healthcare workers, and this mandate will only exacerbate the situation.”

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