Today, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following joint statement on the vaccine mandate issued by the Biden Administration for Medicare and Medicaid providers:
“America’s frontline health workers have done incredible, life-saving work throughout this pandemic, but the difficulties and challenges of the last two years have taken a toll. The Biden Administration’s sweeping vaccine mandate risks exacerbating the staffing shortages and burnout health care providers are already facing.
“By making federal funding contingent on a vaccine mandate, the Biden Administration is signaling to health care providers who allow employees to determine their vaccination status themselves that they are willing to prevent them from treating Medicare and Medicaid patients altogether. And because the Administration doesn’t actually know what proportion of health care workers are currently unvaccinated, it cannot say for certain how many patients will be impacted if unvaccinated workers leave their jobs in response.
“Ensuring workplace and patient safety is critical, but so is making sure Medicare and Medicaid recipients have access to the care they need. The last thing we should be doing right now is putting more pressure on doctors, nurses, and health care administrators – especially when the result will primarily hurt seniors and lower-income Americans.”