Obamacare red tape burden: 127,602,371 hours yearly

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Complying with the raging tsunami of new Obamacare rules and regulations will cost American businesses and families 127 million hours annually, enough time to carve out another 1,039 Mount Rushmores which took 14 years complete, according to a new House report.

Based on figures from President Obama's own Office of Management and Budget and Internal Revenue Service, the new report provided to Secrets reveals that the health reform law set to fully go into effect in 11 months will be the most costly federal burden to hit American in generations. And that hardship will grow as more rules are released.

Just consider: Using the lowest possible wage of an employee complying with Obamacare paperwork--the federal minimum wage--it will cost nearly $1 billion. Put another way: The Empire State building, which took 7 million hours to build, could be erected another 17 times in the time required every year to handle Obamacare rules and regulations.

The House Ways and Means, Education and the Workforce, and Energy and Commerce Committees Wednesday unveiled the hourly burden of Obamacare in a new online site called the "Obamacare Burden Tracker." It details all the hourly compliance figures released by the administration so far and will be updated when new government mandates, rules, and red tape are made public.

"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," warned Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Dave Camp. "The regulatory tsunami generated by Obamacare is forcing employers to spend time and money complying with the dictates of a government takeover of health care instead of creating jobs and investing in our economy," said Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline. "This is valuable time that could be used to run businesses, create jobs, and grow the economy," added Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Fred Upton.

The Republican-run committees noted that the costs could be crushing to small businesses that don't employ lawyers and compliance officers like major industries. "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," said the report.

Their report cites 157 separate examples of hourly requirements under Obamacare for issues such as filling out Medicare forms and surveys. Just one entry which details eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid will cost over 11 million hours of compliance annually. The Federal Register link provided covers 53 pages of explanation.