Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today announced the introduction of the Protecting Vulnerable Patients Act, which would require healthcare providers who see Medicare or Medicaid patients to be vaccinated following final FDA approval of a COVID vaccine. Beyer sits on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has partial jurisdiction over health policy.
“America’s most vulnerable patients must be able to receiving medical treatment without fear that their health care provider will put them at heightened risk of a COVID-19 infection,” said Rep. Beyer. “From the beginning of this pandemic, our frontline health workers have shown heroism in combating the spread of this disease. Now that scientific progress has culminated in the development of a lifesaving vaccine, it is vital that we ensure everyone providing care in hospitals or other health settings is vaccinated. There is absolutely no reason why anyone who works in a medical setting with the most at-risk patients should remain unvaccinated given the overwhelming evidence that the vaccine is completely safe, drastically reduces the chances of spreading infection, and nearly eliminates the danger of hospitalization or death from COVID-19. My bill would take the commonsense step of requiring health care providers who receive federal dollars who treat patients covered by federal health programs to get vaccinated.”
Text of the Protecting Vulnerable Patients Act is available here.
Beyer helped introduce a provision which ultimately made Covid vaccines free to the American people, and was one of the first rank-and-file Members of Congress to receive their vaccine. He is the author of the bipartisan COVID-19 Long Haulers Act.