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Judge: CMS Prohibited from Enforcing Vax Mandate in Texas

Man refusing to get injection of vaccine

On December 15, 2021, US District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas ordered that CMS was prohibited from enforcing its vaccine mandate "within the State of Texas."

Also on December 15, 2021, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the CMS mandate injunction would only continue in the 14 states directly involved in a suit filed by Louisiana and joined by Montana; Arizona; Alabama; Georgia; Idaho; Indiana; Mississippi; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Utah; West Virginia; Kentucky; Ohio.

Previously, CMS had issued a December 2 memo stating that it would not enforce the mandate while there are "court-ordered injunctions prohibiting enforcement of this provision:"

Memorandum Summary Survey and Enforcement of the Vaccine Requirement for Health Care Staff in Medicare- and Medicaid-certified Providers and Suppliers Suspended While Court Ordered Injunctions are in Effect: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not enforce the new rule regarding vaccination of health care workers or requirements for policies and procedures in certified Medicare/Medicaid providers and suppliers (including nursing facilities, hospitals, dialysis facilities and all other provider types covered by the rule) while there are court-ordered injunctions in place prohibiting enforcement of this provision.

The memo went on to state that CMS "has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of this rule pending future developments in the litigation. Accordingly, while these preliminary injunctions are in effect, surveyors must not survey providers for compliance with the requirements of the Interim Final Rule. Health care facilities, of course, may voluntarily choose to comply with the Interim Final Rule.

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