Human Events Blog

At last: a real-time tool for tracking the burden of ObamaCare

The House Energy and Commerce, Education and the Workforce, and Ways & Means Committees have joined forces to produce the new ObamaCare Burden Tracker, a “real-time online resource to help the public keep track of all of the new government mandates, rules, and red tape as a result of Obamacare.”

This currently takes the form of a PDF file that the committees will presumably update with great frequency.  Maybe later we’ll get a smartphone app that functions like a little pinball machine of oppression, flashing and beeping as each new brick is deposited upon the backs of American employers and families.  Come on, guys, the Labor Department gave us an app that reminded us to drink water when it gets hot while you’re working outside.

That’s going to take a lot of work, because the burden of ObamaCare is titanic, and growing rapidly.  At launch, the Tracker estimates that compliance with ObamaCare regulations will consume 127,602,371 hours per year.  That’s enough man-hours to build 1,040 Mount Rushmores, or 18 Empire State Buildings.  It is not clear whether that figure includes the man-hours necessary to keep the ObamaCare Burden Tracker up to date.

“Every hour and dollar spent complying with the Democrats’ health care law are time and resources being taken from spending time with family, growing a business and creating jobs, or caring for patients,” says the ObamaCare Burden Tracker team.  ”Since many small businesses do not employ in-house lawyers and accountants, compliance costs are especially expensive and burdensome.  Given the new demands of complying with the law, it is not surprising that over 70 percent of small businesses cite the health care law as a major obstacle to job creation.”

“The health care law’s backers said it would assist families and small businesses, but the numbers tell a different story,” said Energy and Commerce chair Fred Upton (R-MI). “Thanks to the 2,800 page law and the tens of thousands of pages of regulations, families and business will be forced to spend millions of hours complying with the law.  And according to some press reports, the complex new system will require a whole new layer of personnel – with 21,000 of these individuals needed in California alone – to help Americans navigate the bureaucracy.  Whether it’s navigating the system as someone seeking insurance or ensuring compliance with the mandates, this is valuable time that could be used to run businesses, create jobs, and grow the economy.”

Just wait until some future movement to reform or abolish ObamaCare is castigated based on how many jobs in the ObamaCare compliance industry they’d be killing, Rep. Upton!

“This is just another example of the Obama administration placing the burden of their policies on the backs of those who are already doing more with less time and resources – families and small businesses,” added Ways and Means chair Dave Camp (R-MI).  ”With many rules and regulations yet to come, these 127 million burden hours – many of them due to complying with new taxes – are just the tip of the iceberg. Worst of all, the law has failed to deliver what Americans need most: affordable health care.”

That’s so unfair of you, Rep. Camp!  Why, everyone knows that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, period.”  Just like President Obama promised.  Unless you’re one of the 7 million people whose plans are being wiped out by ObamaCare, of course.  Broken eggs, making omelettes, yadda yadda yadda.

“There’s no question the president’s health care law is making an already difficult situation worse for America’s families, workers, and job creators,” said Education and the Workforce chair John Kline (R-MN).  ”The regulatory tsunami generated by ObamaCare is forcing employers to spend time and money complying with the dictates of a government takeover of health care instead of creating jobs and investing in our economy. Republicans will continue to hold the Obama administration accountable for its enforcement of this job destroying law.”

Republicans only?  Why no Democrats?  How come they don’t want to track the burden of ObamaCare?  They used to be so very eager to pass the bill so they could find out what was in it, as then-Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi memorably put it.  Keep an eye on the ObamaCare Burden Tracker for more delightful surprises in the months, years, and decades to come!

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