The White House has hired a lobbyist to help the administration negotiate a new vaccine mandate in a highly contentious issue that has divided Democrats and Republicans.
John Mancini, the lobbyist who worked on the White House’s first vaccination drive in 2009, will help the White Health Council draft the administration’s vaccine-advisory agenda, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
The administration is reviewing the proposed vaccine mandate, which has faced opposition from the Trump administration, and will consider changes in the final plan, LaBont told reporters Thursday.
The draft mandate calls for all Americans to receive a flu shot by age 26, but it exempts people with pre-existing conditions.
It is not yet clear whether the administration would include a universal coverage requirement in the law, which would require that people who have health insurance or a family member have it, or include some form of a co-payment for people with incomes above $95,000 a year.
The bill would also allow states to expand their Medicaid programs for the poor and uninsured.
Democrats, meanwhile, have called the proposal a costly intrusion on Americans’ personal liberties.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill this week, and the Senate is expected later this week.