Notice & Comment

Spotlight on HHS Entries in OIRA’s Latest Regulatory Reform Report

Earlier this week I posted a new report over at the GW Regulatory Studies Center that sheds some light on the inner workings of this administration’s ongoing regulatory two-for-one initiative. As you might recall, Executive Order 13771 imposed new constraints on executive branch regulatory agencies, directing them to cut two rules for any new rule issued and to offset any costs imposed by new rules.

The piece digs in to a report issued last month by the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), showing a present value estimate of $23.4 billion in “overall regulatory costs” saved. (Confusion over terms like “present value” is part of why I wrote the piece – once you understand what that means you can better place eye-popping figures into context.) Of that $23.4 billion, more than half came from a single agency: the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). That agency also had 25 deregulatory actions and four regulatory actions in FY 2018.

My piece unpacks these HHS totals (and some of the accounting rules behind them) and finds that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is shouldering the deregulatory burden for HHS by reducing Medicare paperwork, while the other HHS deregulatory initiatives fall short of providing the kind of regulatory relief that President Trump has promised. Come take a look!

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