Appeals court refuses to reinstate CMS vaccine rule

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's order that temporarily blocks CMS from enforcing its vaccination mandate for healthcare workers. 

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 13 denied the Biden administration's request to lift a district court's injunction that blocked the mandate, which requires COVID-19 vaccination for eligible staff at healthcare facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs. The order comes after U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp in the Eastern District of Missouri granted 10 states' request for a preliminary injunction on Nov. 29. 

The order from the appeals court applies to the 10 states that joined the lawsuit: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. A separate preliminary injunction granted in Louisiana blocked the vaccination mandate in all other states. 

The appeals court's denial means the federal government can ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the Missouri court's preliminary injunction. 

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