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Sebelius could face health-reg fight

Politico, August 24, 2010

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could find herself pitted between top Democrats on Capitol Hill and state insurance commissioners over a key section of the health care overhaul. Sebelius is waiting for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to suggest rules surrounding how much insurance companies must spend on medical costs versus administrative expenses or profits. The report, expected in weeks, isn’t likely to be as strict on insurers as top Democrats have hoped. HHS will have the ultimate say before a regulation is finalized, giving insurers, advocacy groups or lawmakers one last chance to lobby Sebelius for changes if they’re unhappy with the commissioners’ work. But overturning the NAIC could arouse accusations that the agency is playing politics on a highly controversial piece of legislation.