HHS to repeal rule on reassessing regulations

Nov. 1, 2021

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposal to withdraw or repeal a final rule that required the department to reassess its regulations every ten years to determine whether they are subject to review under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which requires regular review of certain significant regulations.

Called “Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely,” the rule was originally scheduled to take effect on March 22, 2021. After a lawsuit was filed on March 9, 2021, seeking to overturn the final rule, HHS issued an administrative delay of the effective date of the rule until March 22, 2022.

HHS said it is accepting public comments for 60 days on the plan to repeal or withdraw the rule.

Under the rule, any regulation issued by HHS (with certain exceptions) will cease to be effective ten years after it is issued, unless HHS performs a plenary assessment of the regulation and a more detailed review of those regulations that have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities, HHS has said.

Certain regulations are exempt, including regulations that are jointly issued with other agencies, regulations that legally cannot be rescinded, and regulations issued with respect to a military or foreign affairs function or addressed solely to internal management or personnel matters (two categories exempt from standard rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act).

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