State

Rutledge files suit against Biden to block Medicare, Medicaid vaccine mandate

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, along with 9 state attorneys general, announced a lawsuit against President Biden, Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and others over 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 Medicare or Medicaid funding. The CMS vaccine mandate threatens to worsen the alarming shortage of healthcare workers, particularly in rural communities of Arkansas that already struggle with retention.

“President Biden’s latest unconstitutional overreach will directly impact Arkansas’s healthcare community,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will be the last line of defense against Biden’s reckless overreach. Americans deserve better.”

According to the Arkansas Department of Human Services, there are more than 1,000 unfilled positions at DHS-operated healthcare facilities. CMS’s vaccine mandate will exacerbate this existing worker shortage and put Arkansans’ access to healthcare at risk.

The petition for review challenging President Biden’s CMS directive was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Arkansas is joined in the challenge by the states of Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire.

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