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Statement of Administration Policy: S.J. Res. 32 - Joint Resolution Providing for Congressional Disapproval Under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of the Rule Submitted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Relating to "Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination"

March 02, 2022

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(Senate)
(Sen. Marshall, R-KS, and 36 cosponsors)

Protecting vulnerable patients across the country from the devastating effects of COVID-19 remains a top priority for the Administration. Therefore, the Administration strongly opposes Senate Joint Resolution 32, which would expose patients to unnecessary risk.

The Administration's vaccination requirement for health care workers at facilities that participate in Medicare or Medicaid will protect the lives of patients, health care providers, and other workers at 76,000 medical facilities nationwide. Giving patients additional confidence regarding the safety and quality of their care is a critical responsibility of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and a key to combatting the pandemic. As the Supreme Court said with respect to this rule, "ensuring that providers take steps to avoid transmitting a dangerous virus to their patients is consistent with the fundamental principle of the medical profession: first, do no harm."

Vaccination requirements save lives. Vaccines are proven to reduce the risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19. The prevalence of the virus and its ever-evolving variants in health care settings continues to pose a significant risk of staff contracting and transmitting COVID-19, putting themselves and their patients at risk. Health care staff being unable to work because of illness or exposure to COVID-19 further strains the health care system and limits patient access to safe and essential care.

The Nation has made significant progress in combatting the pandemic. It makes no sense for Congress to reverse this much-needed protection for medically vulnerable patients, as well as our health care workers who have given so much to protect us. A vote for this resolution threatens the lives of patients and health care workers alike.

If Congress were to pass this resolution, the President would veto it.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: S.J. Res. 32 - Joint Resolution Providing for Congressional Disapproval Under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of the Rule Submitted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Relating to "Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/357918

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