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Judge blocks vaccine mandate for some South Dakota healthcare workers

Ruling impacts Medicare and Medicaid providers and suppliers in nine other states, including Wyoming
In Amarillo, a local group demonstrated against the federal vaccine mandate.
In Amarillo, a local group demonstrated against the federal vaccine mandate.(KFDA)
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 2:01 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A federal judge in Missouri has blocked President Biden’s bid to mandate South Dakota healthcare workers be vaccinated against COVID-19, calling the mandate “arbitrary and capricious.”

Monday’s ruling by Judge Matthew Shelp affects the federal mandate on Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers in nine other states, including Wyoming, North Dakota and Nebraska.

Judge Shelp wrote that the injunction is warranted because “Congress did not grant CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) authority to mandate the vaccine.” Furthermore, “Whether Congress itself could impose the vaccination requirement is a tough question, one that the CMS would force to its crisis. But even if Congress has the power to mandate the vaccine and the authority to delegate such a mandate to CMS … the lack of congressional intent for this monumental policy decision speaks volumes.”

CMS failed, according to the judge, to consider alternatives to the vaccine mandate, such as daily or weekly testing.

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