Thanks to federal government regulations, Americans waste 642 million hours every year filling out duplicative paperwork, a new study by American Action Forum reports Thursday. That is the equivalent of 321,000 employees working 2,000 hours annually at a cost of $46 billion.
AAF drew the data from its study from a similar Government Accountability Office report on duplicative government spending. That study found the federal government spends $95 billion on overlapping government programs. AAF then analyzed those overlapping programs and identified 470 different duplicative paperwork requirements in programs ranging from wind energy subsidies to drug abuse prevention.
For example, GAO found that the National Medicaid Audit Program, which audits state Medicaid claims data, largely overlaps with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services state program integrity assessments. GAO recommended that CMS merge the two oversight programs. AAF found that duplicative Medicaid paperwork took 47 million hours, costing Americans $3 billion.
“This work confirms previous results from the Government Accountability Office and Senator Tom Coburn,” AAF Director of Regulatory Policy Sam Batkins told The Washington Examiner. “There is not only a tremendous amount of wasteful spending in Washington, D.C., but billions of dollars in duplicative regulatory requirements that make navigating bureaucratic red tape nearly an impossible task.”