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Kansas Won’t Enforce Biden’s Vax Mandate For Healthcare Workers

'Kansas employees should not be required to enforce a federal mandate this late in the pandemic... '

(Headline USA) Kansas officials said this week that they will not enforce President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in nursing homes, hospitals, or other facilities.

Biden’s mandate required all businesses that accept Medicaid and Medicare funding to force their employees to get vaccinated against the virus, but Gov. Laura Kelly argued her office would not “enforce a federal mandate this late in the pandemic.”

“In addition, mandates like this could further intensify the workforce shortage we are experiencing in our health care facilities throughout the state,” Kelly said in a statement. “[Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] leadership has assured me they’re working with facilities and will not take punitive measures.”

The Biden administration warned Kansas officials that the federal government would deduct $348,723 from funding if Kelly does not enforce the mandate, according to a March 18 letter from the health agency.

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“While we are disappointed in Kansas’ approach to meeting its survey and certification requirements, please be assured that CMS will continue to take every step possible to ensure the safety of patients and that federal funds are efficiently administered,” the letter states.

Kelly’s administration met with officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year to negotiate a compromise, but the agency’s letter to Kelly suggested the parties failed to reach an agreement.

“We are not waiving any terms and continue to expect full performance of Kansas’ obligations under the law and pursuant to the Agreement,” the letter says.

Kelly made it clear that the Biden administration’s threats would not change her mind.

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“I’ve consistently opposed federal COVID-19 vaccine requirements because the responsibility was given to the states to make these decisions,” Kelly said in a statement. “Kansas employees should not be required to enforce a federal mandate this late in the pandemic.”

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