Right Now

Nov 02 2011

Administration Fails to Meet Deadlines In Its Own Health Law

The Obama Administration Failed To Meet A Third of Deadlines Mandated by Its Controversial Federal Health Care Law

In the controversial health care law the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill rammed through Congress in 2010—The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)— the authors of the bills included dozens and dozens of mandates and deadlines for federal agencies implementing the health law.

On October 4, 2010, Senator Coburn’s office released a report from the Congressional Research Service showing the number of deadlines mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had missed. The analysis by the nonpartisan CRS found 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.

On November 1, 2011, in a second report to Dr. Coburn, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service compiled a list of deadlines mandated in the new health care law, that the Department of Health & Human Services has failed to meet. Out of the 30 deadlines included in the report that passed since the prior report, HHS has gets a "late" or "incomplete" on 18 (or more than half) of these deadlines under the law. The report also provides:

• updated information on a number of deadlines that were included in the earlier memo for which no or only partial implementation action had been taken through April 1, 2011.

• summaries of the PPACA provisions requiring the HHS Secretary or another federal entity to take a specific action by a specific date during the period of March 24, 2011, through October 15, 2011.

The effect of the two reports means that today, over a year and a half since the enactment of PPACA, HHS has cumulatively missed over one-third of the deadlines mandated by PPACA – missing 38 of 101 mandated deadlines. Some of these deadlines were missed by months, while other deadlines have failed to produce any action at all. HHS has also missed several deadlines to report to Congress on specific policy considerations and possible methods of enhancing health care decision making.

Ironically, while HHS is failing to comply with federal law, the administration is rushing to implement a failed health law that will force all American families, physicians, and businesses to comply with a dizzying array of federal mandates, regulations, and requirements. To protect the quality health care that Americans have and to actually fix the problems in our health care system, Congress must repeal this law and replace it with patient-centered reforms that improve quality and access while reducing costs, and put federal spending on a more sustainable path.

For a full table listing the missed deadlines, click here.