WASHINGTON, D.C. – South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg joined other Republican state attorneys general in a lawsuit to stop the Biden administration’s requirement that millions of U.S. health workers get vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying it would worsen staff shortages.
The lawsuit states that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine 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 Medicare funding.”
The rationale in the lawsuit is that forcing vaccines on all federal healthcare employess will only exacerbate an already pervasive shortage in these healthcare workers – particualrtly in rural communities.
The lawsuit said the federal mandate intruded on states’ police power and is unlawful under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) because there was no comment period before its release.
An interim final rule is effective immediately without the standard comment period that follows publication. However, there is a 60-day comment period following its publication.
Providers that fail to comply with the mandate could lose access to Medicare and Medicaid funds. According to the CMC, with many employers already mandating vaccination, and with nearly all local (and distant) healthcare employers requiring vaccination, it expect that such effects will be minimized.
The lawsuit asks the Court to declare that the vaccine mandate violates the APA and to stop defendants from enforcing the mandate.
The attorneys general of Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire jointly filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis.