At War Against Regulations: GOP To Slow Health Reform By Weakening HHS’ Rule-Making Authority

The Hill’s Mike Lillis reports that “Rand Paul, the GOP’s Senate hopeful in Kentucky, wants to eliminate the power of White House officials to create rules unilaterally — a change that would have an enormous impact on a healthcare reform law that punts hundreds (if not thousands) of decisions to the Health and Human Services Department.” Here he is on CNN’s American Morning making the case for changing the rule-making process:

PAUL: And really, we need to do a lot of structural things. For example, we have bureaucrats now writing laws. I think we should sunset all regulations unless they’re approved by Congress. That doesn’t mean we won’t have regulations, it just means that Congress should be approving the regulations and you shouldn’t have unelected bureaucrats making regulations.

Watch it:

Significantly, along with de-funding and repealing the Affordable Care Act, a growing number of Republicans have publicly endorsed weakening HHS’ rule-making authority as a means of slowing down implementation of the law.


In September, GOP Senators began to speak out against regulations on the Senate floor, claiming that “there will be 100 pages of regulation for each page of that bill.” “There are 2,700 pages in that bill. That means there are going to be 270,000 pages of regulation,” Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WI) said. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) came up with a different estimate, projecting that there would be 121 pages of regulation for every 2 pages in the bill.

Moreover, last month, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius questioning why the department exempted certain businesses from regulations and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced legislation forcing HHS to consider public comments for all new regulations. He offered the bill after a Congressional Research Service report he requested found that “of the 12 reform-related final rules issued this year by the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, 10 came in the form of ‘interim final rules,’ which don’t include a public comment period.” Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels also floated the idea of placing a moratorium on new regulations during an appearance on CNBC yesterday. “There’s several hundred new rule making coming from the financial and health care bills,” he said. “Nobody knows whats in them. You wonder why people are not taking risk with their money right now, that’s the big reason why.”