House investigates ‘F’ grades of Obamacare rules

Editor’s Note:  There a link at the bottom of the article to a detailed discussion of the Mercatus Center’s analysis of the health care regulations on OIRA Watch’s Regulations Under Development forum.

From: Washington Examiner

House investigators have asked President Obama’s regulatory officials and Health and Human Services to explain why economists at Duke and George Mason Universities flagged all nine Obamacare regulations released in 2010 with failing grades caused by “biased” analyses.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee statement noted that “the study found that the estimated benefits and net benefits of the regulations were systematically biased upward [and] the estimated costs of the regulations were systematically biased downward,” according to economists Christopher Conover and Jerry Ellig. The economists, who released the study through the Mercatus Center, also found that “the distinction between transfers and efficiency benefits was often confused; and that the analyses consistently ignored less expensive regulatory alternatives.” 

The Mercatus Center says that the Obamacare regulations appear designed “to justify, rather than inform, decisions.”

House Oversight and Government Reform Chair Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Health Care Subcommittee chair Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., suggested “that the review process—designed to be a check against flawed regulations—was rushed” in violation of Obama’s executive order on regulatory review. 

” HHS and OIRA [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] owe [Americans] and this committee answers to explain how they earned an “F” grade on an assignment that is the Administration’s top policy priority,” Issa and Gowdy added.

The House investigators wrote to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein with a series of questions about the rules. You can read the letters here and here

See, Regulatory Analysis and the Affordable Care Act’s Interim Final Rules — Beware the Rush to Presumption

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