Gov. Ricketts slams President Biden’s nursing home vaccine mandate

COVID-19 vaccinations
COVID-19 vaccinations(WRDW)
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 12:00 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced that his administration will require that nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Thursday, Governor Pete Ricketts said he encourages people to get the vaccine but is against government mandates.

“Nursing homes have already had numerous opportunities to offer the vaccine to residents and staff,” said Governor Ricketts.  “We encourage everyone to get the vaccine, and if you have concerns talk to you doctor.  The heavy hand of government should not force vaccinations.  Nebraska already has a shortage of healthcare workers, and the President’s mandate will push people out of the industry and only make it more difficult to take care of our elderly and most vulnerable.”

The new mandate, in the form of a forthcoming regulation to be issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, could take effect as soon as next month.

Amid talk of the mandate, some nursing homes in Lincoln went ahead and issued their own vaccine requirements. Sumner Place and Tabitha announced Wednesday that staff members must be vaccinated no later than the end of October. However, there are medical and religious exemptions.

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