Report Lists Rules That Have Been Implemented Since Passage of Reform
Regulators have adopted at least 18 new rules in the eight and half months since the passage of the federal health reform law, many of which were implemented without giving the public time to comment on the provisions, according to a Congressional Research Service report, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.
The report found that many of the rules -- which included health insurance reforms, the creation of an early retiree reinsurance program and high-risk pools run by states for individuals with pre-existing conditions -- were not specifically required by the law.
The report also found that in 12 of 18 cases, officials allowed public comment only after the preliminary regulation already was adopted. The public comment rules are intended to allow regulators time to review feedback before the rules are published, but in the case of the 12 regulations the comment period ended on the day the regulations were published or after, according to "Healthwatch."
However, the report noted that the "agencies' use of rulemaking to accomplish the underlying statutory objectives does not appear to be either improper or unusual."
It also noted that the administration almost always is justified in limiting comments, particularly in cases in which the law requires that many regulations quickly be put in place.
The report concludes that regulators likely limited input from stakeholders, even if they were justified in their decision to shorten comment periods. The report noted that the regulations are less likely to be changed if final rules already are published and effective (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 12/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.