Republicans hoping to overturn new regulations creating the first federal medical-loss ratio requirements for insurers cannot do so because the administration never submitted the regulations to the Senate, according to a leading Republican.
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), ranking Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, wrote Vice President Joe Biden on Monday to ask the whereabouts of regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act's requirements on insurers. The regulations were completed and published in the Federal Register but never transmitted by the Office of the Vice President—in his role as president of the Senate—to the Senate parliamentarian. That last step is important, a Republican Senate staffer said, because without it, opponents of the regulation cannot introduce a measure to reject it. Under the Congressional Review Act, such measures rejecting regulations require a simple majority vote, which Republicans are much closer to with 46 senators than the usual 60-vote threshold required for most Senate actions, and they cannot be filibustered.