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AG: Kansas penalized $350K for failure to enforce vaccine mandate for health care workers

Folks who recommend people vaccinate following White House's warning of possible COVID-19 wave...
Folks who recommend people vaccinate following White House's warning of possible COVID-19 wave this fall(Noelle Williams)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 4:43 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Attorney General has confirmed that the state lost nearly $350,000 due to failure to enforce COVID-19 vaccine mandates for health care workers.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says on Thursday, May 12, he asked the U.S. Supreme Court to again review the legality of President Joe Biden’s Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

AG Schmidt has claimed the mandate has caused disruption in the health care workforce - particularly in small, rural communities.

Along with officials from nine other states, Schmidt said he filed a request for the Court to review the constitutionality of the federal vaccine mandate, as well as questions of whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services properly followed the rulemaking process when it issued the mandate.

In January, Schmidt said the Court declined to temporarily block the mandate from implementation but did not reach all statutory or constitutional questions presented in the states’ position.

Earlier in 2022, the AG said he sent a letter to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly which urged her to seek a waiver from CMS to exempt rural health care workers from the federal mandate, as has been sought by other governors. CMS responded with a reduction of the state’s survey and certification funding allocation by $348,723 for its failure to enforce the mandate and indicated it would use those funds to pay for direct enforcement by the federal government.

Schmidt said he has aggressively fought back against federal vaccine mandates since President Biden began to order federal vaccine mandates.

To date, Schmidt said he has brought legal challenges to four of the mandates, three of which were blocked from implementation in Kansas by federal court orders. The OSHA mandate for private employers was blocked by the Supreme Court and later withdrawn by the federal government. He said the federal contractor mandate that affects defense contractors and research universities has been blocked by a federal appeals court while the Head Start mandate has been blocked by a federal district court.

To read a copy of Thursday’s petition for writ of certiorari, click HERE.

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