As lawsuits mount from multiple states, the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court Thursday to reinstate nationwide the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ emergency regulation mandating vaccination for nursing homes and other healthcare workers.
The mandate for Medicare- and Medicaid-funded healthcare facilities has faced numerous legal challenges. Under the rule, healthcare workers in such facilities must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, although CMS previously said that it will not enforce its rule while preliminary injunctions against it are in place.
A federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction Thursday blocking the Biden administration from enforcing the mandate in the Lone Star state. The Lone Star State action followed the issuance of a nationwide injunction earlier this month by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans barring enforcement of the rule. The judge ruled Wednesday that the injunction could be applied only to a group of 14 states that had sued over the mandate.
But Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar wrote in the Supreme Court filing that the CMS vaccine requirement “will save hundreds or even thousands of lives each month.”
“This application seeks a stay of that injunction to allow the Secretary’s [of Health and Human Services] urgently needed health and safety measure to take effect before the winter spike in COVID-19 cases worsens further,” she added.
At a minimum, Prelogar argued, “a partial stay should be granted because the injunction is overbroad.”