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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Michael C Burgess MD (R-TX)

E&C Republican Leaders Applaud HHS Rule to Assess Regulations, Request Additional Information from Trump Administration

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader for the 116th Congress Greg Walden (R-OR), Republican Leader for the 117th Congress Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar expressing support for a proposed rule on regulatory review announced on November 4, 2020.

“We write to express strong support for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) November 4, 2020 notice of proposed rulemaking entitled ‘Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations,’ and to seek further information about this effort,” wrote Walden, Rodgers, Burgess, and Guthrie.

Under the proposed rule, HHS would assess its regulations every ten years to determine whether they are subject to review under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). Regulations found to be subject to the RFA would then be analyzed to determine whether the regulation is still needed, working as intended, or having the appropriate effects. Regulations not assessed appropriately every ten years would expire.

In the letter, the E&C leaders also underscored the proposed rule’s impact on jobs.

“HHS regulations have a real-world impact on jobs, the quality of life, and the cost of living of the American people. As a matter of good government, it is important that regulations are monitored to find out if they are actually achieving their projected benefits. The proposed rule would incentivize HHS to conduct retrospective regulatory reviews to ensure regulations are delivering the projected benefits rather than measuring the effectiveness of the implementation of the regulation,” the members added.

The leaders requested additional information about the proposed rule, including: when the planning and drafting of this proposed rule began; what effects can regulatory reviews, suspensions, or updates have on the health care industry, or the economy more broadly; and a list of regulations already suspended by HHS because they imposed unnecessary costs impeding the pandemic response.

HHS has until December 30, 2020 to respond. Read the full letter here.