LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Between A Rock And A Hard Place

President Joe Biden’s agenda continues to wreak havoc on our country. The latest casualty appears to be Medical Center Hospital where this week the MCH Board voted 4-3 to impose a vaccine mandate on all employees due to demands placed on the hospital by CMS, the federal agency that makes Medicare/Medicaid payments to hospitals. In short, CMS is mandating that local hospitals either ensure 100% vaccination of all staff members, the MCH Board, and any hospital volunteers or they will cut all CMS funding.

After a lengthy debate Tuesday night the MCH Board voted to impose a vaccine mandate with Trustees Brynn Dodd, Wallace Dunn, and Kathy Rhodes voting against the mandate while Trustees Don Hallmark, Richard Herrera, David Dunn, and Mary Lou Anderson voted to impose the mandate.

Trustees were faced with two basic options: 1) to require all employees to be vaccinated and to risk losing as much as 30% of the already stretched thin MCH staff who are refusing to get vaccinated or 2) refuse to be forced into an employee vaccine mandate and risk losing up to $200 million in CMS payments.

A rock and a hard place for sure.

However, when faced with such a difficult decision I would encourage MCH Board members to simply do the right thing and to protect each person’s Constitutional (and God given) right to decide for themselves what to inject into their body. Certainly, one of the most troubling aspects of the never-ending pandemic has been the wholesale destruction of our Constitutional rights in the name of public health and safety.

Beginning with mask mandates and now onto vaccine mandates the list of government imposed demands on American citizens seems sure not to stop but to continue to move forward in ever more disturbing ways. For example, it isn’t inconceivable to imagine a future where our government, like the Chinese, mandates limits on family size claiming a crisis in global warming or limitations in food production or some other real or imagined “crisis”.

It is important to realize that our wonderful Constitution doesn’t yield its protections to crisis – real or contrived – but was designed to protect our rights during a crisis.

A rock and a hard place for sure, but in the face of difficult decisions true leaders will choose the option that best protects our Constitutional rights and this should make it easy for the MCH Board to choose to stand up and fight CMS instead of rolling over and placing a financial six shooter to the temple of their employees by demanding vaccination or termination.

Jeff Russell