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December 10, 2021

Around the nation: Senate votes to block Biden administration's vaccine mandate for large businesses

Daily Briefing

    Despite a White House veto threat, the Senate voted to abolish the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 workers, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia and Ohio.

    • District of Columbia: The Senate on Wednesday voted 52-48 to get rid of the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees. Under the mandate, workers would be required to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus or receive regular testing by Jan. 4. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), who led the resolution, argued the mandate is an "ultimatum" that has "mainstream America scared." The resolution would need to receive a majority vote in the House, which would require support from several House Democrats, The Hill reports. "We certainly hope the Senate, Congress, will stand up to the anti-vaccine and testing crowd, and we're going to continue to work to implement these [requirements]. If it comes to the president's desk, he will veto it," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. (Carney, The Hill, 12/8; Ollstein, Politico, 12/8)
    • District of Columbia: After a federal court blocked an HHS vaccine mandate for health care workers, the agency filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Under the rule, CMS required health care workers in facilities that accepted Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Jan. 4, 2022—with no exceptions for individuals who undergo weekly testing. Facilities that failed to comply would risk losing their Medicare and Medicaid funding. Critics of the requirement have claimed that the federal government went beyond its authority by acting without authorization from Congress. According to Judge Matthew T. Schlep, "Because this mandate significantly alters the balance between federal and state power, only a clear authorization from Congress would empower CMS." (Lagasse, Healthcare Finance News, 12/6)
    • Ohio: During the pandemic, a team of nurses at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center came up with the idea to help monitor critically ill Covid-19 patients with continuous glucose monitoring devices. As a result of their innovation, there has been a 71% reduction in bedside testing for more than 100 critically ill Covid-19 patients. Last month, this team was unanimously selected for the international 2021 ANCC Magnet Prize. "This has been a nursing innovation," said Eileen Faulds, assistant professor at the OSU College of Nursing and endocrinology nurse practitioner at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. "Nurses are choosing the patients that get it, nurses are placing the devices, they're effectively using the systems, and that's been the most inspirational thing about this whole thing is that it's really been encapsulated within nursing." ­(Bailey, 10 WBNS, 12/1)

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