Report Puts Obamacare's Cost at $30.8B, 114M Paperwork Hours

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 03:57 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Obamacare has so far cost $30.8 billion and 111.4 million hours to complete paperwork to individuals, healthcare institutions, and small businesses, according to a new report.

The American Action Forum, a Washington-based advocacy group that has long opposed the health law, said 55,742 employees — working 2,000 hours per year — would be needed to process all the red tape associated with Obamacare.

The report cites several examples of excessive costs from each category.

In most cases, neither the Department of Health and Human Services nor the Congressional Budget Office has provided cost estimates, the organization said.

Obamacare: Massive New Rules Revealed for 2013

In the healthcare market, for instance, the Obamacare rule on “preexisting condition exclusions” is costing institutions $4.9 million and 38,000 paperwork hours, the group said.

Regarding premiums, the organization surveyed healthcare costs in five cities — Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Phoenix, and Milwaukee.

“The results are sobering: young and healthier individuals, including small employers, can expect a 169 percent premium increase, averaged across the five cities,” the report concluded. “Consumers in Milwaukee could experience the greatest sticker shock, with a 190 percent increase in 2014.”

For individuals, the report noted that Obamacare requirements for mandated nutrition labeling could drive up food prices — ultimately costing more than $750 million and imposing 2.6 million paperwork hours, causing “some businesses to forgo certain consumer products.”

But the biggest impact continues to be on small business, those with up to 50 employees, the report said. Obamacare so far has imposed 11 new regulations on small business.

These range from patient-notification requirements for medical providers — at a cost of $2.5 million and 138,032 paperwork hours — to menu-labeling changes for restaurants — $757.1 million and 622,000 paperwork hours.

But Obamacare also imposes a 3 to 5 percent tax on small companies, based on size.

“They will undoubtedly affect health insurance coverage, consumer products, and the amount of time Americans spend completing federal paperwork,” the report concluded.



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