Politics

Texas Hospital May Be Forced to Close for Good Over Biden’s COVID Vaccine Mandate

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President Joe Biden’s decree might shut down Brownfield Regional Medical Center, CEO Jerry Jasper told KCBD-TV in Lubbock.

Not only are independent nursing agencies luring away Brownfield’s nurses with higher pay, but Jasper said he could lose 20 to 25 percent of his nursing staff to the vaccine mandate. Currently, members of his staff are encouraged but not required to take the shot.

Such staff losses will shut his hospital down, he said.

And there’s more: Medicare- and Medicaid-certified facilities must have vaccinated staff in order to receive government reimbursements, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That amounts to 80 to 85 percent of Brownfield’s revenue, Jasper said.

“It’s huge in our rural community as all the other rural communities. We all have high poverty levels and stuff like that, so a lot of Medicaid usage,” he told KCBD.

Larry Gray, CEO of the Seminole Hospital District, said such a funding loss would be “devastating.”

Gray told KCBD that 70 percent of his staff is vaccinated. He encourages workers to receive the shot and believes it’s safe, but he thinks the federal mandate is the wrong way to go about getting people vaccinated.

“I think the mandate is just a terrible message, because if the vaccinations are working, why do you have to mandate people to get vaccines?” he said. “What happened to individual choice and medical decisions between the patient and their doctor, which is all of the things that we’re trying to support?”

Jasper lamented the confusion caused by the tug-of-war between the Biden vaccine mandate and Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s prohibition of such mandates.

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