A few months ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) served notice that it plans to repeal a controversial Trump rule, known as the “SUNSET” (short for Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely) rule, that would have required the department to eliminate existing regulations after 10 years unless it reviewed them and made the case to justify keeping them in place.
While it refers to the organic elimination of regulation, the word “SUNSET” also describes how the Trump administration sought to put the rule into place literally the day before President Biden was sworn into office. HHS completed the rulemaking at a breakneck speed of less than three months.
The rule was slated to take effect March 22, 2022. However, HHS postposed implementation by one year, after a coalition of health care organizations, including the American Hospital Association (AHA), sued HHS to stop its implementation. While HHS hasn’t yet officially withdrawn SUNSET, recent indications are that it’s only a matter of time. Implementing the rule “would significantly alter the operations of HHS with considerable repercussions for a diverse array of stakeholders,” the agency contends.