Follow Up on CMS Vaccine Mandate Mystery
& OSHA Mandate Temporary Freeze

November 8, 2021

As you know I have been hot on the trail of any information from either the National Council or our state agency leaders regarding which (if any) MH and SUD organizations fall under the CMS Vaccine mandate.  On Friday night and at the suggestion of our colleagues in Washington, I spoke with Interim state Medicaid Director Brett Friedman who collected my questions and told me to hang on.  Last night I received a message from Brett letting me know he was turning it over to OMH and OASAS Counsel’s Office to do the analysis and get me an answer.  I am now waiting to hear from the state agencies to provide a response.

In the meantime, on Saturday the Washington Post reported that a federal court had frozen Biden’s vaccine regulation for U.S. firms, citing ‘grave statutory and constitutional issues.  The ruling came shortly after the White House issued a policy giving thousands of companies until Jan. 4 to implement new coronavirus vaccine and testing rules (the OSHA mandate).  The court gave the Biden administration until Monday at 5 p.m. to respond to a lawsuit from a number of GOP-led states and employers who had sued to block the vaccine policy.  The Department of Labor instituted the ruling through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  “The U.S. Department of Labor is confident in its legal authority to issue the emergency temporary standard on vaccination and testing. The Occupational Safety and Health Act explicitly gives OSHA the authority to act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them,” said Seema Nanda, the solicitor of labor.

More as we know it.