JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health System announced a vaccine mandate for their employees citing a ruling from a government agency.
The mandate is as a result of guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, or “CMS”. In a news release, CMS says the Biden Administration is requiring COVID vaccination of eligible staff at health care facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Freeman CEO Paula Baker says the health system did not have a mandate in place and had been leaving the decision to get vaccinated to its employees. “Because our employees were so proactive in taking initiative to do that themselves, however, CMS has now issued a ruling that says we must mandate them, so, that’s why we’re doing that, and every employee will need to be vaccinated by January the 4th.”
Baker says the ruling will affect health care facilities beyond just Freeman. “Since all health care facilities are going to be held to the same standard, if an employee wanted to remain in health care, they really wouldn’t have an option to go other places, because that will be consistent, I think that employees understand this is a federal ruling, and there is that option for a declination, if they meet the criteria for a medical or religious exemption.”
Last week, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley joined 38 of his Republican colleagues in formally moving to disapprove and nullify President Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employers. In regards to that specific mandate, Senator Hawley called the President’s vaccine mandate quote “unconstitutional” saying that it infringed on the rights of American citizens.
Senator Hawley said of the mandate quote “it unlawfully bypasses established regulatory procedures. Congress, not the President, has the authority to make law.”
In the regulation from CMS, health care workers have until December 6th to receive the first dose of a vaccine, and until January 4th to be fully vaccinated.
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