Court blocks vaccine mandate for employees of Medicaid, Medicare providers in Texas

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A federal court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction Wednesday, blocking the Biden administration from enforcing vaccine mandates for employees of Medicaid and Medicare providers and suppliers in Texas.

The order was signed by U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk and stands “pending a trial on the merits of this action or until further order of this Court.”

“This is a win for liberty. The federal government does not have the ability to make health decisions for hard-working Americans,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a Thursday press release. “These unconstitutional mandates have no place in our country, and they are not welcomed here in Texas.” 

The issue stems from vaccine rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published on Nov. 5. The mandate required workers under 15 categories of Medicare- and Medicaid-certified health providers and suppliers to get the first dose of the vaccine before Dec. 6, according to the ruling. Those providers included health clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities and home-health agencies.

On Nov. 30, a ruling by U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty blocked the vaccine mandate for health care workers nationwide. However, the Fifth Circuit altered Doughty’s ruling on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press, keeping a preliminary injunction in place for only 14 states — not including Texas.

On Wednesday, Paxton announced another federal lawsuit against a vaccine mandate for staff and volunteers at Head Start early childhood education facilities.

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