OK, so you’re complying with Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for health workers. You’re in the clear, right? Not according to Ochsner Health, the largest health system in Louisiana. In a move that is questionable at best, Ochsner has elected to fine employees with unvaccinated spouses hundreds of dollars a month.

“The reality is the cost of treating COVID-19, particularly for patients requiring intensive inpatient care, is expensive, and we spent more than $9 million on COVID care for those who are covered on our health plans over the last year,” CEO of Ochsner Health, Warner Thomas, told NOLA

The charges are rather steep — $200 per month if the employee’s spouse, who is an American who is supposed to have the freedom to make their own healthcare choices and is not in any way involved in the work, does not get the jab. Thomas says it’s not a mandate, however, because employees are free to use another health plan not provided by the company for which they work. “This is not a mandate as non-employed spouses and domestic partners can choose to select a health plan outside of Ochsner Health offerings,” Thomas says. Sound nuts? Of course it is:

This shameless attempt to use the pandemic — and vaccines — to squeeze money out of hardworking employees is disgusting. But it’s something that we are sure to see more of as time goes on. The only way to stop this is to elect more men and women like Florida’s Ron DeSantis, who has taken a strong stance against COVID mandates that are ruining America.

The election in 2022 is important. While it’s not as glamorous as the 2024 presidential election, it’s important to show up and elect new leadership at every level. Remember: mayors and governors can also impose small-scale tyranny.