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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Upcoming Rules Pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Spring 2011 Unified Agenda

Maeve P. Carey
Analyst in Government Organization and Management

Curtis W. Copeland
Specialist in American National Government

Congress delegates rulemaking authority to agencies for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA; P.L. 111-148) is a particularly noteworthy example of congressional delegation of rulemaking authority to federal agencies. A previous CRS report identified more than 40 provisions in PPACA that require or permit the issuance of rules to implement the legislation.

One way for Congress to identify upcoming PPACA rules is by reviewing the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is published twice each year (spring and fall) by the Regulatory Information Service Center (RISC), a component of the U.S. General Services Administration, for the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The Unified Agenda lists upcoming activities, by agency, in five separate categories or stages of the rulemaking process: the prerule stage, the proposed rule stage, the final rule stage, long-term actions, and completed actions. All entries in the Unified Agenda have uniform data elements, including the department and agency issuing the rule, the title of the rule, its Regulation Identifier Number (RIN), an abstract describing the nature of action being taken, and a timetable showing the dates of past actions and a projected date for the next regulatory action. Each entry also contains an element indicating the priority of the regulation (e.g., whether it is considered “economically significant” under Executive Order 12866, or whether it is considered a “major” rule under the Congressional Review Act).

This report examines the most recent edition of the Unified Agenda, published on July 7, 2011 (the second edition that RISC compiled and issued after the enactment of PPACA). The report identifies upcoming proposed and final rules listed in the July 7, 2011, Unified Agenda that are expected to be issued pursuant to PPACA. (A previous CRS report identified the rulemaking actions that were listed in the December 2010 version of the Unified Agenda.) The Appendix lists these upcoming proposed and final rules in a table. The report also briefly discusses the longterm actions listed in the Unified Agenda, as well as some options for congressional oversight over the PPACA rules.

Date of Report: August 18, 2011
Number of Pages: 31
Order Number: R41963
Price: $29.95

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