The state’s refusal to comply with the vaccine requirements is in violation of federal law and will cost taxpayers if it does not reverse course.

In an attempt to avoid losing critical funding for Medicare and Medicaid, top state Democrats are urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to comply with federal vaccine laws.

On Nov. 5, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a ruling requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all staff at Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers, which is currently in effect.

However, on Jan. 14, 2022, the state reiterated its position to providers that it would not evaluate compliance.  As a result, in February, CMS sent notice that it would reduce Florida’s funding by over $1.2 million to cover the cost CMS is now incurring by having to directly enforce compliance at state facilities.

An Urgent Warning

In a letter to DeSantis and Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller, Reps. Lois Frankel (Fla.-21), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.-23), Kathy Castor (Fla.-14), Ted Deutch (Fla.-22), Frederica Wilson (Fla.-24), Charlie Crist (Fla.-13), Val Demings (Fla.-10), Al Lawson (Fla.-05), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.-07), Darren Soto (Fla.-09), and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (Fla.-20) cited “serious concern” and warned DeSantis that refusal to comply with the CMS rule not only endangers the lives of millions of vulnerable people but is also in violation of federal law and will cost taxpayers if they do not reverse course.

“Vaccines have proven to be the most effective tool in preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19,” the Democrats’ message emphasized, adding that if the state does not reverse course, it is “in violation of your obligations under federal law and is costing Florida taxpayers. We urge you to reverse course immediately.”