Week in Regulation

$1.8 Billion in Regulatory Costs

Thanks to an Affordable Care Act rule, regulatory costs increased by more than $1.8 billion this week. Annual costs increased by $458 million, compared to $389 million in monetized benefits; paperwork accelerated by more than 2.4 million hours. There were sixteen regulations this week that monetized costs or benefits. The per capita regulatory burden for 2015 is $570.

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 52
  • New Final Rules: 67
  • 2015 Total Pages of Regulation: 72,898
  • 2015 Proposed Rules: $90.9 Billion
  • 2015 Final Rules: $92.1 Billion

The American Action Forum (AAF) has catalogued regulations according to their codification in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFR is organized into 50 titles, with each title corresponding to an industry or part of government. This snapshot will help to determine which sectors of the economy receive the highest number of regulatory actions.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a rule to ban smoking in public housing. The measure would ban all “lit tobacco products” from indoor areas and up to 25 feet away from buildings. The obvious goal is to improve public health, reduce the risk of fire, and lower maintenance costs. Surprisingly, the main cost component is “smoker inconvenience,” at $209 million. The benefits exceed the costs, with non-smoker well-being, non-smoker health, and reduced fire and maintenance costs all generating benefits. The benefits to smoker health, if that cohort reduces or quits smoking tobacco, was not quantified or monetized.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a final rule under the JOBS Act aimed at governing the offer and sale of securities. The supposedly deregulatory “Crowdfunding” rule actually imposes notable costs: $34 million in annual burdens and more than 320,000 paperwork burden hours. The regulation does exempt certain securities from registration requirements under the Securities Act of 1934.

Affordable Care Act

The administration published a final rule for “Grandfathered Health Plans” and preexisting conditions. The measure also regulates how health plans cover dependent children, lifetime and annual dollar limits, and rescissions of coverage. The annual costs of the measure approach $170 million and it will impose more than 790,000 paperwork hours.

Since passage, based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the Affordable Care Act has imposed costs of $49.8 billion in state and private-sector burdens and 175 million annual paperwork hours.


Click here to view the total estimated revised costs frsom Dodd-Frank; since passage, the legislation has produced more than 75.5 million paperwork burden hours and imposed $34.3 billion in direct compliance costs.

Total Burdens

Since January 1, the federal government has published $183 billion in compliance costs ($92.1 billion in final rules) and has imposed 108.9 million in net paperwork burden hours (57.1 million from final rules). Click below for the latest Reg Rodeo findings.