MONTANA — U.S. Senator Steve Daines, Governor Greg Gianforte and Congressman Matt Rosendale today pushed the Biden administration to issue exemptions to the healthcare worker vaccine mandate for health facilities where Montanans’ access to care, especially in rural communities, is jeopardized. Many hospitals, especially in rural Montana, cannot afford to lose another healthcare professional, and the vaccine mandate on healthcare workers threatens to worsen labor shortages and limit Montanans’ access to care.
“Like many states across the nation, Montana is already facing labor shortages, especially in the healthcare industry, which severely threaten patient access to lifesaving medical care. Given the Supreme Court’s decision, we are deeply concerned that the vaccine mandate will penalize healthcare entities that simply cannot comply with the mandate due to ongoing workforce challenges. Some Montana facilities cannot afford to lose another healthcare professional, especially when alternative measures can be implemented, such as masking and testing, to protect the safety and health of employees, patients, and visitors from COVID-19,” they wrote.
“As you know, the Department has historically considered access to care issues and exercised discretion prior to taking enforcement action against facilities for non-compliance with regulatory requirements, and we respectfully request that you recognize this precedent given the pervasive health professional shortages in Montana,” they continued.
To read the full letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, click HERE.
Contact: Rachel Dumke, Katie Schoettler