In an address to the nation on September 9, President Biden announced new measures his administration is instituting in order to try to raise the percentages of Americans vaccinated against Covid-19.
One of the most important of these measures provides that all employers with 100 or more employees must insure that their work forces are fully vaccinated, except for employees who test negative for the virus, and are tested at least once a week. The specific rule is apparently still being developed by the Department of Labor.
Businesses that do not comply with this regulation may be required to pay a fine up to $14,000 per violation.
Another important measure will require that employees working for health care facilities that receive any reimbursements through Medicaid and Medicare will also have to be vaccinated. There will be no exception for the frequently-tested. The Medicare/Medicaid rule alone will affect 50,000 employers and their 7 million workers.
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This administration had shied away from “mandates” last spring. It had taken the position that voluntary vaccinations will get the country where it needs to be. But now, in Biden’s words, “our patience is wearing thin.” The stubbornness of some of the unvaccinated, he said, “has cost all of us.”