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SCOTUS rejects late health care work mandate challenge

The Supreme Court turned away a challenge by 11 states to the HHS health care worker vaccine mandate, making an overturn of the staff vaccination requirement even more unlikely than before.   
On Oct. 3 the Court declined without comment to consider Missouri v. Biden, which Missouri, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, 
Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming joined as co-plaintiffs. On Nov. 29, 2021, Missouri and its co-litigants won a stay on the CMS mandate, which requires millions of health care workers receiving federal payments to be vaccinated against COVID-19; but after SCOTUS affirmed the mandate in a Jan. 13 decision, Missouri brought suit again, getting on the high court's docket on May 19. 
Plaintiffs argued for reversal of the mandate on the grounds that the spread of the Omicron strain of the virus “refuted the Mandate’s most basic premise – i.e., that the vaccines supposedly prevent infection and transmission of COVID-19.” (Several Omicron-specific boosters were authorized by the FDA on Aug. 31 and are currently in distribution and covered by insurance and the federal government.) 
Plaintiffs also rehearsed the harms attributed to the mandate in previous pleadings (e.g. a resulting exodus of health care workers), and claimed that HHS’ three-month delay in implementing the mandate – notwithstanding the delay was at least arguably attributable to the legal challenges – meant that “the [HHS] Secretary was evidently not quite so worried about preventing COVID-19 transmission from unvaccinated  healthcare workers to patients.”
SCOTUS denied certiorari without comment.
Blog Tags: compliance
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