A coalition of 10 states, led by Missouri, has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed on health care workers, which they said was “unconstitutional and unlawful.”
Missouri was joined in the suit by eight other states with GOP governors: Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire. Kansas, the 10th state, has a Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, but is a reliably Republican state in presidential elections.
“Unfortunately, with this latest mandate from the Biden Administration, last year’s healthcare heroes are turning into this year’s unemployed,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in an official statement.
Schmitt added that requiring health care workers to get a vaccination or face termination is “unconstitutional and unlawful, and could exacerbate healthcare staffing shortages to the point of collapse, especially in Missouri’s rural areas.”
He said that his office will continue to challenge what he called the Biden administration’s “illegal edicts.”
Workplace vaccination mandates are at the center of controversy around the country.
Calling the vaccine mandates an “unprecedented federal overreach,” Schmitt said they jeopardize the healthcare interests of rural Americans.
The lawsuit argues that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate “imposes an unprecedented federal vaccine mandate on nearly every full-time employee, part-time employee, volunteer, and contractor working at a wide range of healthcare facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicaid funding.”
The 58-page filing further states that vaccination requirements are matters that depend on local factors and conditions.
The filing also says that the CMS vaccine mandate threatens to “exacerbate an alarming shortage of healthcare workers, particularly in rural communities, that has already reached a boiling point.”
A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesperson said in the statement to The Hill that “CMS does not comment on pending litigation.”
The suit, filed Wednesday in a Missouri federal court, follows similar lawsuits filed by Republican-led states against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate
imposed for federal contractors and businesses with more than 100 employees.
An appeals court recently issued a ruling temporarily halting
President Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 employees or more.
This story was updated at 4:17 p.m.