House Passes Bill to Block HHS from Enforcing Vaccine Mandate at some Health Facilities

Posted February 1, 2023

The House passed a bill that seeks to end the vaccine mandate for employees at some health facilities, marking the first pandemic-related bill the Republican majority has approved since taking control of the chamber.  The Freedom for Health Care Workers Act, passed in a 227-203 vote, with seven Democrats joining Republicans in passing the bill.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), and it calls for stopping the Health and Human Services secretary from enforcing workplace regulations and standards enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic — including the vaccine mandate — at Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities.

Under current rules, health workers at Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities are required to have at least their first dose in a primary series of coronavirus vaccinations in order to provide care, treatment or services. More than 10 million health industry workers across roughly 76,000 facilities are subject to the vaccine requirements.

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