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Week in Regulation

Health Care Rules Lead Deregulatory Week

Building off of last week’s trend, the August deregulatory streak continues apace. A trio of final rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) provided the bulk of the burden reductions. Between both proposed and final rules, agencies published roughly $196.4 million in net cost savings, and cut 3.2 million hours of paperwork. The per capita regulatory burden for 2018 is negative $17.61.

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 41
  • New Final Rules: 56
  • 2018 Total Pages of Regulation: 39,625
  • 2018 Final Rules: -$5.8 Billion
  • 2018 Proposed Rules: $13 Billion

Tracking Regulatory Modernization

CMS published the final versions of three of its annual payment program rules. These rules predominantly focus on setting the level of transfer payments, but each of these rules also included paperwork burden reductions with commensurate cost savings going towards Fiscal Year (FY) 2018’s regulatory budget under Executive Order (EO) 13,771. Combined, these three rules include roughly $215 million in annual savings. The Department of Health and Human Services overall tally now exceeds its FY 2018 goal of $28.7 million in annualized savings by more than $500 million.

According to American Action Forum (AAF) analysis, since the start of FY 2018 (beginning Oct. 1, 2017), executive agencies have promulgated 50 deregulatory actions with quantified estimates against 10 regulatory measures, under the rubric created by EO 13,771 and the administration’s subsequent guidance document on the matter. These rules combine for net annual savings of roughly $1.5 billion. This means that agencies have thus far surpassed the administration’s cumulative goal for FY 2018 of $687 million in net annual savings. According to earlier AAF projections based on the administration’s latest Unified Agenda, agencies were on track to roughly double that goal. If this current trend holds, they may well exceed that expectation too.

Click here to view AAF’s examination of the administration’s progress under the “one-in, two-out” executive order through the end of Fiscal Year 2017.

State of Major Obama-Era Initiatives

Based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the ACA has imposed costs of $52.9 billion in final state and private-sector burdens and 176.9 million annual paperwork hours.

Since passage, the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation has produced more than 82.9 million final paperwork burden hours and imposed $38.9 billion in direct compliance costs.

Total Burdens

Since January 1, the federal government has published $7.2 billion in net costs (despite $5.8 billion in net savings from final rules) and paperwork burden cuts amounting to nearly 4 million hours (including 3.9 million hours of paperwork reduced under final rules). Click here for the latest Reg Rodeo findings.