New ALEC Regulatory Comment: More Options Equal Better Health Care
The Biden Administration’s proposed rule would force Americans into a uniform system and eat away at state authority in the process.
In a 1999 Executive Order, then President Bill Clinton said, “One-size-fits-all approaches the public policy problems can inhibit the creation of effective solutions to those problems.”
Federal vs. state authority is a constant battle with the federal government often acting as Goliath to the states’ David. So how do states push back against federal efforts to make everyone uniform? Rules and regulations often play a very important role.
On July 7, 2023, the Biden Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services published a proposed rule to limit Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance (STLDI) and Excepted Benefit Plans. The rule would limit STLDI plans to three months with the possibility of a one-month extension. It would also have a significant impact on excepted benefit plans which are usually supplemental plans such as cancer policies or hospital indemnification policies. These policies are a life saver for many who must undergo expensive treatments far from home. The proposed rule would restrict plans sold on a “per service” basis and fixed indemnity plans.
This week, ALEC filed a comment on this proposed rule, as it would usurp state authority to regulate these issues. States are the primary regulators of health insurance. The proposed rule would force everyone into a uniform federal rule and put unnecessary restrictions on both STLDI and excepted benefit plans. This is an issue that has already been litigated in Central United Life v. Burwell. The court in that case was very clear: agencies can only do what Congress has given them the authority to do. The Biden Administration’s proposed rule has the same fatal flaw. There is no statutory basis for the rules being proposed.
One size doesn’t fit all. States know what best fits their population’s needs and are in the position to adjust policies as needed. Americans need choices when it comes to their health care. Our health, finances, and lifestyles are all different, and one approach to insurance doesn’t make sense. The Biden Administration’s proposed rule would force Americans into a uniform system and eat away at state authority in the process.