Ready-Fire-Aim Rulemaking




” The broadest evidence of a regulatory rush job on health care comes from the Mercatus Center’s Regulatory Report Card. The Regulatory Report Card evaluates the quality of the regulatory impact analysis federal agencies produce when they propose major regulations. A team of economics professors at universities around the country assesses how well the agency’s analysis identifies a widespread problem that a regulation might solve, considers a variety of alternative solutions, and assesses both the benefits and costs of alternative solutions.

Five major federal regulations established most of the rules for health insurance exchanges, and the highest-scoring regulation among them earns just 48 percent of the possible Report Card points—a solid “F.” The rest are worse.

Consider, for example, the regulation governing how the federal Office of Personnel Management will contract with insurers to create multi-state health plans to be offered on the insurance exchanges. Multi-state health plans could play a key role in promoting competition and portability, since insurers could draw customers from—and offer insurance in—all 50 states. For this reason, one would hope that regulators would conduct the regulatory impact analysis for this regulation with great care and consult it frequently as they wrote the regulation.

Americans are upset about the Affordable Care Act. They should be even more upset about a federal regulatory process that allows agencies to promulgate sweeping regulations in ignorance of key consequences.”