Liberal Group’s Proposal to Mandate Vaccines for Health Care Workers Draws Stiff Opposition

By Mark Tapscott
Mark Tapscott
Mark Tapscott
Congressional Correspondent
HillFaith Founding Editor, Congressional Correspondent for The Epoch Times, FOIA Hall of Fame, Reaganaut, Okie/Texan.
August 12, 2021 Updated: August 12, 2021

A proposal to threaten the loss of Medicare and Medicaid funding as leverage for mandatory CCP virus vaccines of all health care workers faces rough sledding despite strong support among professional medical associations.

The CCP virus—also known as the novel coronavirus—has reportedly killed more than 660,000 Americans since the first case was confirmed in January 2020, and subsequent lockdowns have caused trillions of dollars in lost economic activity and opportunity.

“Unvaccinated health care workers put patients at high risk, given that their jobs require close interaction with unvaccinated patients and others who are immunocompromised and at higher risk for complications,” according to an Aug. 6 analysis published by the Center for American Progress (CAP), written by Jill Rosenthal, director of the influential liberal nonprofit’s Center for Health Policy; Senior Economist Emily Gee; and Vice President Maura Calsyn.

To counter the risk, the CAP analysis encourages President Joe Biden to use a big stick.

That big stick is the Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation and Conditions for Coverage, which the CAP analysis describes as “untapped levers the federal government can use to support this effort.”

In other words, hospitals and other health care providers would risk the loss of Medicare/Medicaid funding and participation for failing to enforce 100 percent employee compliance with the mandate to be vaccinated against the CCP virus.

“Making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid would protect vulnerable patients, set a positive example for other employers, and contribute to the national effort to contain the virus,” the CAP analysis said.

The CAP proposal comes amid a proliferation of vaccine mandates in government at all levels and throughout the corporate sector. The Department of Health and Human Services mandated vaccinations for its front-line health care workers on Aug. 12.

But an important measure of the growing resistance to such mandates is seen in the fact that CAP admits that opposition among health care workers is strong.

“To date, more than 500,000 health care workers have contracted the coronavirus and 1,673 have died from COVID-19. … Yet, by the end of May, 1 in 4 hospital workers still had not been vaccinated at all,” the CAP analysis said.

But a coalition of major professional health care organizations released a July 26 statement backing mandatory vaccinations for medical workers.

The coalition includes the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of American Medical Colleges, and National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

“Employer vaccine mandates are effective and lifesaving, and they are especially appropriate in health care and long-term care settings. No patient should have to worry that they could become infected by one of their care providers, and no provider should put their patient at risk,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, in the statement.

Emanuel, brother of former Chicago Mayor and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, organized the coalition. He’s also known for his 2014 essay on “Why I Hope to Die at 75.”

Opposition

A CAP spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an Epoch Times request for comment on whether the Biden administration has responded to the nonprofit’s proposal, or if any member of Congress has expressed support for it.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) told The Epoch Times on Aug. 12 that in her view, “any vaccine mandate will further divide our country instead of uniting us.”

“That’s why I’m supporting the No Vaccine Passports Act, which would keep the federal government from forcing anyone to get a vaccine approved under Emergency Use Authorization, like the COVID vaccines,” she said.

Lummis introduced the No Vaccine Passports Act with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) on May 28.

The CAP proposal is prompting opposition in the conservative think tank world as well.

“The same health care personnel who last year put their lives on the line vaccine-free—and would have been criticized by these leftists had they refused to do so—are now going to be banned by these leftists from doing the exact same thing they did last year? That seems … odd,” Less Government President Seton Motley told The Epoch Times.

Americans for Limited Government President Richard Manning pointed to the lack of public comment in the regulatory levers the CAP proposal would employ.

“To use an expedited regulatory process that denies comment and presentations based upon the science is the ultimate irony. Let the medical professionals decide what is the best for them based upon their own unique health histories,” Manning told The Epoch Times.

All of the mandates, including the CAP proposal should the Biden administration adopt it, will likely face court challenges.

American Constitutional Rights Union (ACRU) President Lori Roman told The Epoch Times that her group opposes vaccine mandates because it “calls out the ‘crisis tyrants’ and reminds regular Americans that it is ‘We the People’ not ‘We the Sheeple.’ We take a stand for medical choice and privacy.”

The court challenges have already begun for Liberty Counsel founder and co-Chairman Mat Staver, who told The Epoch Times that his public interest law firm has been besieged with requests from “government workers, private sector employees, and members of the military” seeking legal help against vaccine mandates.

Staver said the CAP proposal and other mandates of “forced COVID shots would make the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] proud, or any communist proud, and want to follow the template.”

He called the mandates “a clear violation of individual rights, because it is the most egregious thing to require somebody to inject a substance, whether it’s the COVID shots or anything, into their body.”

Threatening an individual’s employment, schooling, service in the military, their ability to fly, or to have insurance coverage, due to multiple state and federal laws and regulations, “is unbelievable,” he said.

Staver said the unconstitutionality of vaccine mandates won’t be changed by an expected decision by the FDA to upgrade the current vaccines from emergency authorization to full approval, and he’s confident of ultimately prevailing in court.

“At the end of the day, like in the church litigation, we may have some bumps along the way, but we have won, and I think we will ultimately do the same thing in this case.”

Staver was referring to Liberty Counsel’s successful representation of a group of California churches that challenged Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-related ban on worship gatherings.

Congressional correspondent Mark Tapscott may be contacted at Mark.Tapscott@epochtimes.nyc. Follow him on Twitter at @mtapscott and on Parler at @Mtapscott.

Mark Tapscott
Mark Tapscott
Congressional Correspondent
HillFaith Founding Editor, Congressional Correspondent for The Epoch Times, FOIA Hall of Fame, Reaganaut, Okie/Texan.