December 6, 2021 by Houston Keene
Over 100 Republican members of Congress signed a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure opposing the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers.
Republican Reps. Vern Buchanan of Florida and Larry Bucshon of Indiana called on CMS to scrap their plans pursuing the vaccine mandate for millions of health care workers in the U.S.
A federal court last week halted the vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states, prompting CMS to temporarily suspend enforcement of the rule.
“This one-size-fits-all big government mandate has the potential to hammer small and medium-sized health care providers across the country though increased compliance costs, staffing shortages and crippling fines at a time when they can least afford it,” Buchanan told Fox News in a Monday email.
“Even worse, this unconstitutional power grab could reduce access to care for millions of seniors who rely on these businesses for essential health care services,” Buchanan continued.
“Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other health care providers are struggling to keep their doors open, and those located in rural areas are disproportionately feeling the impacts of chronic, widespread labor shortages that are being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bucshon, a medical doctor, told Fox News.
“Today, I led a letter with more than 110 members of Congress asking the Biden administration to repeal their federal vaccine mandate on health care workers that stands to threaten patients’ access to quality medical care, as well as the size and scope of our nation’s health care industry during the worst global health crisis of our generation,” he continued.
In the letter, the lawmakers warned the CMS administrator that “implementing a federal vaccine mandate will only serve to exacerbate” the “growing health care workforce shortage” facing America.
“It is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the rationale for implementing a mandate like this at the tail end of the pandemic while we, as a nation, are struggling to staff hospitals, physician offices and other ancillary providers,” the letter reads.
The lawmakers noted that they “fully support” CMS’s goals of ensuring the health safety of American patients but warned that “if seniors are unable to access care because their provider no longer participates in the Medicare program,” the health care worker vaccine mandate “will undermine its stated goal.”
“We strongly urge you to abandon implementing this onerous new rule and instead heed current statistics that show seniors are vaccinated at a higher rate than the rest of the population of vaccinated Americans while also uniquely vulnerable to disruptions in the health care system and consider the potentially negative consequences this mandate will have on the size and strength of our health care workforce,” they also wrote.
Joining Buchanan and Bucshon on the letter are 113 House Republicans, including high-profile Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York, Jim Banks of Indiana, and Dan Crenshaw of Texas.
CMS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
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