Right Now

Oct 04 2010


HHS Failed To Meet A Third of Mandated Deadlines Under New Federal Health Care Law

(Washington, DC) -- A new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS)[1] found that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) failed to meet one-third of the deadlines mandated by the new federal health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The memo, requested by Republican Senators Coburn, Hatch, and Cornyn, revealed that HHS failed to fulfill its requirements in seven of 22 deadlines before September 23, 2010, which was the six-month mark of the law being enacted.

In addition to the seven missed deadlines, the CRS memo also noted four deadlines which for which there was insufficient public information available to draw a conclusion. Republican health staff pointed out that HHS may have failed to meet these four deadlines as well.

During the height of the health care debate in Congress last year, Senators Coburn, Hatch, and Cornyn warned the American people about the pitfalls of health care legislation that would empower the Secretary of HHS with unprecedented new authorities. Senate staffers totaled more than 1,700 places in the law where the Secretary is given new abilities to write rules, establish programs, and mandate requirements. Now, nonpartisan analysis shows that HHS has failed to even meet 22 mandatory deadlines required by law during the first six months of the law being enacted.

Future months are unlikely to see HHS improve its record of compliance. The Department failed to meet one-third of 22 deadlines in six months, yet now the Department has less than three months to meet another 29 requirements required by law.

The CRS analysis did not include deadlines imposed upon individuals or organizations other than the Secretary of HHS, nor did it include any provisions that did not require the Secretary to take a specific action by a specific date. CRS’ analysis was “based on information from official publicly available sources such as the Federal Register and agency websites.” The analysis was finalized on the six-month mark – September 23, 2010– so only actions taken the Secretary of HHS by that date were analyzed.

Click here for a table of missed deadlines.

Click here for the CRS analysis on HHS failure to meet deadlines.

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