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  • Obamacare Hassle: A 127-Million-Hour Paperwork Burden

    Photo: Tetra Images/Newscom

    Three House committees have added up the total hours of burden that Obamacare’s regulations will cost Americans: over 127 million hours per year of paperwork.

    Federal law requires agencies to estimate the paperwork burden created by rules and regulations, so the estimates for hours of burden come from the Obama Administration itself.

    The committees’ new Obamacare Burden Tracker currently includes 157 different rules and regulations that make up the 127 million hours of paperwork.

    The committee press release provided some eye-popping examples that help put the amount of time into perspective:

    What can be done in 127,602,371 hours?

    • Mount Rushmore, which took 14 years to build, could be constructed 1,040 times.
    • Halley’s Comet, seen from earth once every 76 years, could be spotted 191 times.
    • The Empire State Building, which took 7 million man-hours to build, could be constructed 18 times.

    But all of Obamacare’s rules and regulations haven’t been released yet, so the burden is likely to increase even further in the future. The committees plan to continually update the Obamacare Burden Tracker.

    Ironically, the same department issuing the majority of these time-consuming regulations—Health and Human Services—announced this week an effort to reform “Medicare regulations identified as unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospitals and health care providers.”

    The new rules would allow hospital workers and technicians to perform certain tasks without requiring the supervision or approval of a physician or other practitioner.

    But Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, sees political motivation behind the Administration’s new attitude toward excessive regulations:

    This is a double win for the administration: It buys the political allegiance of hundreds of thousands of para-professionals who would be able to do more and earn more. And the administration clearly sees it is heading for a catastrophic lack of physicians and other medical personal to treat up to 30 million newly-insured people when Obamacare’s new subsidies begin in January.

    However, the burden of Obamacare isn’t where the Obama Administration ends its regulatory overload. As Heritage research shows, “During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans. This is almost four times the number—and more than five times the cost—of the major regulations issued by George W. Bush during his first three years.”

    The Obama Administration needs to get as serious as it claims to be about reducing regulatory burdens.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

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