A federal district court has stayed the Biden Administration’s effort through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to force all healthcare workers at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement to be fully vaccinated against COVID 19 or lose their funding.

KGVO News spoke to Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen about the decision that was released on Tuesday afternoon.

“We just got some great news out of the Western District Federal Court in Louisiana that a judge in our federal CMS mandate lawsuit just issued a nationwide injunction on the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services vaccine mandate,” said Knudsen. “That rule is unblocked. There is now no reason for any hospital or healthcare facility in Montana to continue to threaten their workers with termination if they don't get this vaccine. That rule has been 100% blocked in the United States by this federal judge. So, some great news today.”

Knudsen said the order simply stays action nationwide while the matter is adjudicated.

“So the point of an injunction is to maintain the status quo pending litigation,” he said. “This is not a final order. This says that states have sued over this rule. We think there's obviously a problem here. So while we're looking at this rule and the legality of it, we're going to put an injunction in place and maintain the way things have been operating, and the way things have been operating is no mandate.”

Knudsen said he is reasonably certain that the issue will end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Ultimately, I think the US Supreme Court is going to have to take this case and decide just how far does the president's power goes,” he said. “Does President Biden have the authority to make a sweeping health care decision for millions of Americans? I don't see it in the Constitution. I don't think he's got the constitutional authority to do it. But he seems to think he does. And to me, that's the real issue that the courts are going to have to answer for us here.”

Knudsen slammed the medical industry for putting itself at the mercy of the federal government with Medicare and Medicaid funding.

“I hate to be so blunt, but this I think this is what happens,” he said. “We've allowed our healthcare industry to be infiltrated by federal dollars, and our hospitals have become more and more dependent on those federal dollars, and those come with strings. And now here we are in a situation where health care workers, the front line people that we need caring for patients are being threatened and being forced out if they don't make this healthcare decision. I mean, this is just indicative of how far government has infiltrated what used to be a private industry.”

The preliminary injunction will remain in effect pending the final resolution of this case, or until further orders from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, or the United States Supreme Court.

Comments have been released by Governor Greg Gianforte, as well as Senator Steve Daines.

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today praised a federal court’s nationwide injunction of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers:

 “Hundreds of Montanans at risk of losing their livelihoods from the president’s unlawful overreach can now breathe a sigh of relief. Not only is the president’s mandate unconstitutional, but it would devastate Montana health care providers already struggling with a long-standing worker shortage,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Discrimination based on vaccination status is illegal in Montana, and we’ll continue to work to protect the rights of Montanans.

Senator Daines provided this reaction.

“I’ve heard from Montana healthcare providers across the state about how President Biden’s vaccine mandate will cripple their workforce and impact Montanans seeking medical care. While I am pro-vaccine, I stand firmly against Biden’s overreaching vaccine mandate. I thank Attorney General Knudsen for leading the fight to strike down the mandate that threatens the livelihoods of our healthcare heroes.”

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