Arkansas Governor Hutchinson Praises Court Decision on CMS Vaccine Mandate
On Monday, November 29, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri, Matthew T. Schelp, issued a preliminary injunction against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate. That mandate was issued by the Biden Administration on November 5, 2021 and required almost every CMS employee, trainee, student, volunteer, and third-party contractor be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to have the first dose no later than December 6, 2021.
The mandate would have, and may still affect, all hospitals in Arkansas and nine other states that were involved in the lawsuit filed against the Federal Government. This would include UAMS, the Arkansas State Hospital, the Arkansas Health Center and the Human Development Centers which are run by the Department of Human Services.
The mandate in the State of Arkansas would have had a terrible impact on those entities and most importantly those being cared for within those entities by increasing staff shortages.
The Court’s ruling specifically noted that;
- CMS did not have authority to mandate the vaccine
- That CMS violated the Administrative Procedures Act when promulgating the mandate; and that the mandate was arbitrary and capricious.
- The mandate did not provide any alternatives to the vaccine such as daily or weekly testing.
The Court also noted the irreparable harm the mandate would cause especially in rural areas which are having staffing shortages. This mandate would impact the physical health and wellbeing of the citizens of the states who were parties to the litigation, of which, Arkansas is one of ten.
“I am thankful for the ruling issued today,” stated Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Vaccine mandates are not the appropriate method to increase our vaccination rates, and the decision today shows that Arkansas is not alone in this position. My administration will continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office as this case moves to trial.”
According to the Associated Press;
The rule requires workers to receive their first dose by Dec. 6 and their second by Jan. 4.
The only downside to think about if you are an Arkansas CMS healthcare worker in one of those situations listed above and you don't get the shots by those dates, if the Bidden Administration ends up winning the case, you could be out of a job once the ruling is handed down. Something to think about as you weigh your decisions on vaccinations in Arkansas.