Two national vaccine mandates, including the one affecting most nursing home workers, are under attack and could face reversal.
The Biden Administration is considering rescinding the military’s 2021 COVID-19 vaccine mandate as part of the National Defense Spending bill negotiations with Republicans, according to a report in the Washington Post.
If that occurs, it could spread to a rollback of the mandate for healthcare workers put in place by the Department of Health and Human Services in November 2021. The Supreme Court upheld both earlier this year.
That healthcare mandate has been the target of two recent efforts by some states’ attorneys general. In one attempt, they demanded it be reversed because its imposition allegedly skirted the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice-and-comment requirements; in the other attempt, they described it as irrational and adding to the sector’s staffing woes.
The Post account detailed discussions between President Biden and US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). A Becker’s Healthcare story separately drew the parallels between the military and healthcare mandates. The mandates harm recruitment and retention in both the military and healthcare, those opposing the mandates argue, and thus one rollback could fuel the other, it noted.
In October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a case brought by 10 states that challenged the COVID-19 vaccination rule. In mid-November, a group of 22 states filed a petition asking to rescind the rule. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has yet to respond to the November petition.
Last weekend, Defense Secretary Lloyd told ABC News he is in favor of keeping the mandate, while the White House told Reuters the president supports Austin.