What can you do with 79 million man-hours?

posted at 2:41 pm on September 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I missed this analysis of ObamaCare compliance costs last week, but it’s worth noting — especially with the election coming up.  With much of the regulation still left to be written, the known compliance costs for the ironically-titled “Affordable Care Act” would eat up 80 million man-hours every year — which one former IRS commissioner called a “quagmire” (via Paul Bedard):

According to former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Fred Goldberg, and supported by the Obama Administration’s own figures, ObamaCare “…in its current form will be a needless administrative and compliance quagmire for millions of Americans.”

Based on IRS estimates approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, ObamaCare will take American job creators and families nearly 80 million hours to comply with. Over half of that will fall on small businesses. …

Every hour and dollar spent complying with the Democrats’ health care law are time and resources being taken from growing a business, hiring new workers, or caring for patients. To date, the Democrats’ health care law has resulted in IRS and Treasury issuing thousands of pages of new rules and regulations, including 40 notices, 17 regulations, 5 revenue procedures, 2 revenue rulings, and 14 Treasury decisions. Sixteen IRS regulations implementing the health care law, found below, will require nearly 80 million man-hours per year according to the IRS. Given the enormous impact the regulations will have on job creators, it is no wonder that a recent survey found that over 70 percent of small businesses cite the health care law as a major obstacle to job creation.

The House Ways and Means Committee puts this into perspective by comparing the number of compliance man-hours to other, more productive projects:

  • Empire State Building: 7 million man-hours to complete, could be built 11 times a year
  • Mars Curiosity Lander could make over 13,000 trips between Earth and Mars each year
  • One person could observe the 76-year appearance of Halley’s Comet 119 times

I’ll add another.  The amount of man-hours needed each year for the regulation added by the Affordable Care Act so far would be 398 times the total amount of man-hours our Space Shuttle program spent in space over its entire 30-year history.  That’s each and every year, with it likely to get a lot worse when more of the regulation gets established by HHS.

And we wonder why people won’t invest in growth-producing ventures.  Not surprisingly, Rasmussen still finds a majority of voters in favor of repeal:

A majority of voters still supports repeal of President Obama’s national health care law and believes it will increase the federal deficit and the cost of health care.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters favor repeal, while 43% are opposed. This includes 45% who Strongly Favor repeal of the health care measure and 33% who are Strongly Opposed. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Support for repeal is up slightly from last week. Most voters have consistently favored repeal in regular tracking since the health care law was passed by Congress in March 2010.

In other words, as Paul Mirengoff and Jeffrey Anderson also conclude, the defense of the ACA at the Democratic convention failed.  Democrats could spent 79 million man-hours trying to defend this turkey each year and it still wouldn’t change minds at this stage.


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How many man-hours are possibly enough, to serve Communism and the State?

Utopia is near.

Have faith.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM

What can you do with 79 million man-hours?

At $202,000 per hour, you could pay down the national debt.

faraway on September 18, 2012 at 2:48 PM

About six months ago, HHS was up to 10,000 pages of new regs and still writing.

What a horror.

PattyJ on September 18, 2012 at 2:48 PM

…needless administrative and compliance quagmire for millions of Americans.

Based on IRS estimates approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, ObamaCare will take American job creators and families nearly 80 million hours to comply with. Over half of that will fall on small businesses. …

Every hour and dollar spent complying with the Democrats’ health care law are time and resources being taken from growing a business, hiring new workers, or caring for patients.

Barry’s at his best when bureaucracy and the legions of minions it takes to push the paper trump economic growth and American prosperity. Barry won’t be happy until we’re all dead from a million paper cuts.

Slainte on September 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

About six months ago, HHS was up to 10,000 pages of new regs and still writing.

What a horror.

And that’s just half of volume one.

hawkeye54 on September 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM

How about a little O/T rap diversion of “U Didn’t Build That”?
Make it go viral.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/324641/election-rap-u-didnt-build-eliana-johnson

onlineanalyst on September 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Well you could explain how liberalism works and still never actually get to the good part.

antipc on September 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Isn’t that about 1 in 60 manhours in the whole country?

aniptofar on September 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM

The use of “man-hours” is misogynistic and typically right wing.

All of this will be dealt with, by the DOJ “free speech” “standards.” The ones that are on the way, when we reach Utopia.

All of you pigs will be dealt with.

/

OhEssYouCowboys on September 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM

What can you do with 79 million man-hours?
posted at 2:41 pm on September 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Get rid of AQ and the Taliban.
Better for my health too !

Jabberwock on September 18, 2012 at 2:56 PM

More broken-window economics.

The Schaef on September 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

With 79 million man hours, I could troll hotair.com as much as Kunta Kinte!

lorien1973 on September 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM

and you reichwingers thought free healthcare wouldn’t create jobs!!!

tom daschle concerned on September 18, 2012 at 3:07 PM

79 million more hours than Obama has spent on the economy…

right2bright on September 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM

78,999,999 more hours than Obama has spent working….78,999,999 hours more than Obama has spent working in private enterprise…

right2bright on September 18, 2012 at 3:10 PM

What can you do with 79 million man-hours?

Destroy the greatest medical services system in the world.

forest on September 18, 2012 at 3:11 PM

That 79 million man-hours per year works out to 6.6 million hours per month. If one takes 160 hours per man-month (assumes 2 weeks vacation per year), that is 41,145 people per month just working on health care compliance. That’s an entire small city in the US devoted exclusively to just working on compliance issues, that’s not actually providing any health care. Assuming a median income of $50K per year and an equivalent in overhead and benefits ($48 per hour, which is a very low-ball number), that works out to a minimum of $3.8B per year. Just on compliance costs, not a single sniffle has been diagnosed nor broken arm set. You should probably double my estimate because actual labor costs will probably be closer to $100 per hour or more.

AZfederalist on September 18, 2012 at 3:12 PM

You know that photo of the ponytail doctor makes me want to go into a rage. It’s a dangerous abuse of freedom of speech to post that.

forest on September 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

obama admits he believes in redistribution of wealth

ConservativePartyNow on September 18, 2012 at 3:16 PM

AZfederalist on September 18, 2012 at 3:12 PM
You know that photo of the ponytail doctor makes me want to go into a rage. It’s a dangerous abuse of freedom of speech to post that.

forest on September 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

That dude’s ponytail has got to be a violation of the Hippocratic Oath – First, Do No Harm.

St Gaudens on September 18, 2012 at 3:19 PM

At the tops I only have about 40,800 left so the rest belongs to several dozen great grandsons/daughters.

Limerick on September 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM

obama admits he believes in redistribution of wealth

ConservativePartyNow on September 18, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Isn’t that a secret, hidden video from 1998?

faraway on September 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM

The BO must go!

SMACKRUNNER on September 18, 2012 at 3:30 PM

obama admits he believes in redistribution of wealth

ConservativePartyNow on September 18, 2012 at 3:16 PM

The first guy to ask the question and get the REAL answer was Ohio’s ‘Joe the Plumber’ … and he was nearly crucified for his audacity.

Missilengr on September 18, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Jay Carney: “[Obama] really doesn’t believe that dividing us into categories and groups is the way.” Just heard that on the radio. Really made me choke.

Obama’s goons are living satire. Obama, of all people, doesn’t believe in dividing us? That might be the ONLY thing he believes in.

Django on September 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Liberal day dreaming about Golf all day…

tarpon on September 18, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Here’s what the EPA is doing with their 79 million hours.

Writing bullsh!t regulations regarding ethanol mandates.

antipc on September 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM

If 53% favor repeal, how can any election polls be even close? Are some voters hoping that Obama will come to his senses and repeal this mess?

rhit87 on September 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

““…in its current form will be a needless administrative and compliance quagmire for millions of Americans.”

Obowma’s signature piece of legislation…

… all by thought, purpose, action, and intent.

Too bad it’s not an election year…

Seven Percent Solution on September 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

You know that photo of the ponytail doctor makes me want to go into a rage. It’s a dangerous abuse of freedom of speech to post that.

forest on September 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Pictures of Obama himself have that affect on me. Time to bring the full force of the law to bear on anyone that dares post his picture anywhere.

Midas on September 18, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Went to the doc yesterday,

They had to install an entire new computer system to be ‘compliant’ and then spend/waste more time training on it, instead of the old system. That’s what this comes to.

The_Livewire on September 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM

At about $35 per hour, that is about 5 1/2 Solyndra’s….

right2bright on September 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM

We have a redistribution document, so maybe the LATimes will vomit up the Palestinian soiree speech? Nah.

clnurnberg on September 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Couple the incomprehensibility of 99.99% of gooberment regulations with the willingness, nay eagerness, of entrenched bureaucrats to punish any poor schlub who fails to comply with every last section, paragraph, subsection, sub-sub section of these rules and you get the nightmare that is the United States federal government today.

Sample: there are 18 pages of regulations in Obamacare defining a full time employee. Eighteen pages! In a sane world, that definition could be summed up in four words: 40 hours per week.

natasha333 on September 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Compliance costs more than labor in many industries…a restaurant has to be compliant with: City, County, State, Federal laws…each on overlapping, and some unique…

I ran a large food processor for years, the compliance was ludicrous, add OSHA into that, the labor laws…just plain foolish.

I moved my workers to 10 hour days, 4 days a week, and I could have a 30 hours Fri-Sunday shift…it also gave many of the Hispanic employees a chance for a second job (gardening, restaurant, etc) on the weekends…they loved it, the company maxed out our production…but the state said we had to pay overtime for anything over 8 hours, it killed my P&L. So, back to 40 hours, 5 days, and the employees lost money from a second job.

That is what made manufacturing so frustrating…I have hundreds of stories from my experiences and my fellow manufactures of Gov. destroying business, and harming employees…all for their own good.

“Hi,I’m from the government and I am here to help”

right2bright on September 18, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I don’t understand how people could not like the bill and want it repealed but still vote for the demofreaks and their ‘leader’. Oh wait, I guess it’s those same people who send money to Planned Parenthood and Operation Rescue at the same time.

yhxqqsn on September 18, 2012 at 4:14 PM

I dunno. While we are talking about wasted time. A single trillion dollars is at least 12 times as costly to pay for as the Obamacare compliance cost. That is just to pay a single years interest at the long term LOW end of the spectrum of 4%, effectively a billion man hours at $40 an hour. Of course, if your accountant costs more or less, your milage varies.

So, why not push for a balanced budget amendment? Put it front and center. What are you afraid of, actually being asked to pay for the government you demand? I mean seriously, I thought Hot Air was a conservative blog. Stop the bleeding, demand Romney promote heavily the Cap and Balance pledge.

astonerii on September 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM

80M man hours = 40,000 jobs –> its a jobs program right?

KenInIL on September 18, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Get rid of stupid regulations on CO2 emissions, which never hurt anyone, and 80 million man-hours could build the Keystone XL pipeline and new refineries to process the oil, and quite a few gas-fired power plants. I would gladly contribute 2000 hours a year of my own time to the effort.

Steve Z on September 18, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Don’t forget, ObamaCare was front loaded with benefits.

The bill starts coming due in 2014.

Then we’ll see Nancy Pelosi’s definition of “affordable”.

GarandFan on September 18, 2012 at 5:03 PM

That 79 million man-hours per year works out to 6.6 million hours per month. If one takes 160 hours per man-month (assumes 2 weeks vacation per year), that is 41,145 people per month just working on health care compliance. That’s an entire small city in the US devoted exclusively to just working on compliance issues, that’s not actually providing any health care. Assuming a median income of $50K per year and an equivalent in overhead and benefits ($48 per hour, which is a very low-ball number), that works out to a minimum of $3.8B per year. Just on compliance costs, not a single sniffle has been diagnosed nor broken arm set. You should probably double my estimate because actual labor costs will probably be closer to $100 per hour or more.

AZfederalist on September 18, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Exactly. $4 billion of taxpayer money per year just to pay for checking compliance with the act.

talkingpoints on September 18, 2012 at 5:28 PM

So, why not push for a balanced budget amendment? Put it front and center. What are you afraid of, actually being asked to pay for the government you demand? I mean seriously, I thought Hot Air was a conservative blog. Stop the bleeding, demand Romney promote heavily the Cap and Balance pledge.

astonerii on September 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM

See link.

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/09/17/new-romney-ad-focuses-on-economy-deficit/

To paraphrase Mark Steyn, I don’t know if the Republicans can fix it. I know the Democrats can’t.

Romney is our best chance for a balanced budget.

talkingpoints on September 18, 2012 at 5:35 PM

talkingpoints on September 18, 2012 at 5:35 PM

I was commenting over on that thread. I like the ads. Not sure why others thing it was lame.

I want a more firm commitment to it. Now is the time to hold his feet to the fire. Not after an election. If he can tell congress, I will not sign an increase to the debt limit until you pass to the states a cap and balance amendment, that will solve a large part of our problems in one fell swoop.

But people here are not pushing the idea, so Romney will not be held to the fire on this, and once elected how many politicians have you known have been willing to tie their own hands unless forced to?

astonerii on September 18, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I expect Frankendodd will be worse when the regulations are all finally written.

slickwillie2001 on September 18, 2012 at 6:33 PM

79 million man-hours means nothing to the low information voter who’s only interest in life is their own entertainment. Obama is their savior, that’s all they want to know.

TulsAmerican on September 18, 2012 at 6:38 PM

— which one former IRS commissioner called a “quagmire”

Wow.

When even the IRS says your red tape is unconscionable….

logis on September 18, 2012 at 7:03 PM

80 million man-hours = 40,000 full time employees.

jaime on September 18, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Jay Carney’s mom must be real proud.
Her OBGYN doctor is scared stiff he’s going to be sued for malpractice. He didn’t tell her she could abort the mentally deformed spawn of the devil.

dirtengineer on September 18, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Just think. Chances are that one year from now we’re going to be here commenting on what the Republican president, House and Senate are doing to repeal this mess.

Can you imagine? After four years of Obama and six of a Dem Senate we will (God willing) be arguing not over how to stop Democrats but how to best implement conservative policies. I get way too excited when I let myself think about it.

29Victor on September 18, 2012 at 7:32 PM

80 million man-hours = 40,000 full time employees.

jaime on September 18, 2012 at 7:11 PM

I wonder how many unproductive wasteful ‘jobs’ were created by Sarbanes-Oxley?

That’s another piece of crap that has to go.

slickwillie2001 on September 18, 2012 at 7:36 PM

What can you do with 79 million man-hours?

…give it to the Democrats…so they can continue doing what they’ve done the last 79 million man-hours…masturbate !

KOOLAID2 on September 18, 2012 at 8:32 PM