WASHINGTON–As health care reform heads for a possible House vote by Sunday, Mar. 21, rate regulation provisions the Obama administration had touted as critical–and industry officials saw as their greatest concern–are absent from the bill the House is considering.
Healthcare insurance industry officials told the National Underwriter the provisions were left out because the Senate parliamentarian ruled that including such a provision would not comply with the so-called Byrd rule.
This rule limits what can be included in legislation that is allowed to pass the Senate only on majority vote through the reconciliation process.
Officials of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers lauded the decision.
Joel Kopperud, a director of government relations at the CIAB, said the omission of the rate regulations was “the most significant potential change for our members and was the centerpiece of President Obama’s proposal for what should be included.”