Sweet: ObamaCare is going to cost us 127 million+ hours a year

Just a little midweek, midday roundup of a few of the most recent ways in which the Affordable Care Act is just not going according to plan. “Unexpectedly,” of course.

The House Ways and Means, Education and Workforce, and Energy and Commerce Committees have teamed up on a new report called the “ObamaCare Burden Tracker,” meant to function as “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.”

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.  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.

What could 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 hours to build, could be constructed 18 times.

Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) stated, “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.  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.”

Dang. Can we get an app for this?

It’s highly useful to remember that the many costs of ObamaCare are not merely monetary ones; every hour that an individual or business spends complying with the many twists and turns of the new health care regulations is an hour spent not doing something else. This is a major opportunity cost that’s going to take a huge chunk out of American productivity; if the White House sincerely thinks that even more regulations and compliance costs are going to do anything to spur us along after four years of a whimpering economy, they’ve got another thing coming (although they so far seem perfectly content to sweep the jobs-and-economy issue under the rug and just keep laboring under this “new normal”).

In that same vein, yesterday’s Congressional Budget Office report included a number of not-so-subtle hints that maybe the feds should consider toning it down on the boldfaced ObamaCare optimism, lest they should perhaps come to regret their many cheerful promises, via the NJ:

On several important measures of the law’s success, CBO’s numbers are pessimistic compared with earlier estimates: Fewer uninsured people will get coverage, insurance options will be more limited, and more employers will stop covering their workers. Perhaps most noteworthy, the report suggests that the new health insurance marketplaces set to launch later this year are unlikely to be completely ready in time.

That negativity came cloaked in the careful language of the budget office—what former Bush health official Tevi Troy called “heavy bureaucratese”—but the report signaled CBO officials are worried that key provisions of the law are not going to work as intended.

“They view the odds of success as diminishing sharply,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the president of the conservative American Action Forum and a former CBO director. …

In plain language, that means CBO thinks the marketplaces won’t have many insurance choices, the Medicaid enrollment systems will not be ready for new people to enroll, and people will be less enthusiastic about signing up for new insurance options.

And just to get a little more specific:

The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday quietly raised the 10-year cost of ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies offered via the health law’s exchanges by $233 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office review of its latest spending forecast.

The CBO’s new baseline estimate shows that ObamaCare subsidies offered through the insurance exchanges — which are supposed to be up and running by next January — will total more than $1 trillion through 2022, up from $814 billion over those same years in its budget forecast made a year ago. That’s an increase of nearly 29%.

You’re welcome.