Florida judge: Health workers COVID-19 vaccine authorization can now be maintained

A federal judge in Florida will not suspend the Medicare and Medicaid Services Center’s authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for medical institutions before the lawsuit, marking the first time a judge has weighed CMS requirements.

CMS, in a Provisional final rule It was released in early November, requiring all employees of medical institutions participating in Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4 and the first dose on or before December 6. Facilities that do not comply with the rules may eventually be kicked out of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Florida sued CMS on Wednesday, requesting the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida to immediately block the agency from performing the mission.

However, if the authorization is not suspended before December 6, the state’s argument does not prove that it will suffer irreparable harm, Judge M. Casey Rodgers Rule on saturday.

Rogers wrote that the head of the state agency predicted in the affidavit related to the lawsuit that they would lose staff due to authorization, but this is just speculation. The data shows that so far, the mandatory requirements for the COVID-19 vaccine have not led to collective resignation of employees.

Rogers said that this authorization cannot be temporarily suspended because if agencies and companies refuse to comply, they will lose federal funds. Florida has also failed to prove that authorization would damage its sovereignty.

“Economic losses such as financial losses are not irreparable. Only when monetary remedies cannot be used to remedy the situation, the injury is’irreparable’,” the decision read.

Although Rogers made the first legal decision on the authorization of CMS, another judge stop The Occupational Safety and Health Administration made relevant requirements on November 12. OSHA requires employees of companies with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19 by January 4th. OSHA has now suspended the implementation of this requirement.

Lawyers in this field are not surprised that the court’s treatment of CMS is different.

“Anyone covered [CMS’ mandate] They are covered because they chose this route and they chose to comply with the conditions of participation. Therefore, I think it will be more difficult for them to prove that the task of CMS is too onerous and overburdened,” said A. Kevin Troutman, partner of Fisher Phillips.

Rogers can still decide to stop the authorization after the proceedings are over.

Reed Smith’s lawyer Amanda Brown (Amanda Brown) said: “The court did not discuss the possibility of winning the case, so this is still very controversial.”

However, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s lawyer Irene McLaughlin said that if she believes the state’s argument will eventually succeed, the judge may find irreparable harm.

She said: “I do think that how the court will decide in the end can give you a glimpse.”

Florida lawsuit follows Early challenges Authorized, one of which is led by Missouri on behalf of the other nine states, and the other is from Texas. Brown said judges in these cases do not have to follow Rogers’s precedent to deny the preliminary stop of the rule, but they may hesitate to oppose the ruling.

Brown said: “This court may have decided very early on how it will rule, and hopes to be the first court on record,” he added, adding that it is difficult for states to determine irreparable damage before the authorization actually takes effect. Influence.

Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has combined multiple OSHA challenges into one lawsuit. McLaughlin said that the discussion about integrating the challenge into the CMS mission is not the same, but this may be partly because so many states have joined Missouri’s lawsuit against CMS, basically combining their cases from the beginning.

Federal government Responded In the Missouri Challenge on Monday, it was reiterated that facilities choose to participate in Medicare and Medicaid, and that the Department of Health and Human Services has the right to create new conditions for participation in these programs.

Federal officials also argued that the court has no jurisdiction over Missouri and its partner states’ claims, because most issues regarding health insurance regulations must first be submitted to HHS for special review procedures.

HHS and CMS lawyers also stated in their responses that stopping the mission nationwide would render the Florida court’s decision meaningless.

“In addition, more than half of the states have not challenged the vaccination rules. There is no reason to believe that the plaintiff’s differences should affect the rest of the country,” the response said.

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