By John Vinci
The Obama Administration underestimated the costs of Obamacare regulations by billions of dollars says the non-partisan Mercatus Center at George Mason University in a working paper it issued on Monday.
The study examines eight Obamacare regulations issued in 2010 that
became law before public comment was allowed because of the brief
timeline Obamacare gave for their implementation.
Mercatus carefully studied the required cost/benefit analysis used by
the Administration. And it found that the Administration’s cost
estimates tended to be underestimated while its benefit estimates tended
to be overestimated. The result is that the cost of implementing
these eight regulations may be billions of dollars more than the Obama
Administration is willing to admit.
For example, Mercatus says that,
“For the ‘Early Retiree Reinsurance Program’ rule, costs were
underestimated by $9-$10 billion over four years. More accurately
calculated benefits might have been about one-third as high as
This comes as no surprise to us at Americans for Limited Government.
We’ve caught the Obama administration artificially inflating
Obamacare’s benefits before.
For instance, on September 7, 2010 we submitted a public comment that criticized the Obama Administration for “describ[ing]
[the preventive services regulation] as having a cost-savings benefit
while supplying insufficient evidence to back such a claim and ignoring
evidence to the contrary.”
The Mercatus study confirms our criticism: “The selective review of
the literature provided in the RIA gives the uninformed reader a false
impression of the extent to which preventive health services are
cost-saving. Literature reviews consistently have concluded that most
clinical preventive services typically are not cost-saving.”
While the Mercatus Center’s working paper does not scrutinize the
paperwork burden analysis of these regulations (we hope they will
consider doing so in the future), we’ve found that the Administration
also underestimates how much it will cost Americans to comply with the
paperwork these regulations generate.
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