December 7, 2018
A $42 Billion Regulatory Error
This week, federal regulatory paperwork burden data contained a $42 billion reduction in estimated costs for one regulation, notes AAF’s Senior Regulatory Policy Analyst Dan Goldbeck. The reason? A health care reporting requirement initially had an estimated cost of nearly $42 billion, but that was suddenly revised down to zero—highlighting the need for greater transparency in the regulatory process.
This instance is problematic both on its face and as one digs into some of the supporting documentation. At $41,875,085,608, the original estimate exceeded the gross domestic product of Serbia. Now it is at zero. Here is the full rationale for the change: “Cost estimates aren’t normally reported for OMB submission. Cost estimates were submitted in error on previous approval.” How often do [information cost requirements, or ICRs] actually include a cost estimate? For perspective, as of last week, there were 9,370 active ICRs. Out of those, 7,117 reported a cost estimate of zero (roughly 76 percent).
Read more here.