Report: Pile-up of Obamacare regulations awaiting approval

Sarah Hurtubise | Reporter

Twenty-eight significant Obamacare regulations are still waiting for approval, according to a new study from the free-market American Action Forum (AAF), including five-month old rules surrounding the individual mandate.

The final approval of these regulations is important to making the various provisions of the law work on time.

“There have been so many delays and hiccups with implementation,” AAF regulatory director Sam Batkins told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “but I doubt this got lost in all the other paperwork, given the significance” of the individual mandate.

As is fitting with the administration’s tendency to ignore statutory deadlines with Obamacare, the individual mandate rule includes a note requiring White House approval of the final version by August 26 — of last year.

“I don’t know why they’re holding their hand,” Batkins told TheDCNF, “especially now that we’re into tax season, and presumably there will be several thousand or more individuals who will be paying this individual mandate tax. The IRS won’t have everything ready for them.”

The IRS itself may soon be struggling to get ready for its own Affordable Care Act responsibilities in time. It’s already going to take the IRS 7.5 million hours to implement the individual mandate, Batkins told TheDCNF. And a recent report from the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, which oversees the IRS, warned that any further changes could hinder the IRS from telling taxpayers what the law requires of them.

Another major Obamacare requirement still stuck in the White House queue relates to the Net Investment Income Tax, which took effect last January.

Meanwhile, tax season is looming closer and the requirement to carry health coverage will become active on March 31.

AAF estimates that the cost of paying federal workers to implement the rules the White House hasn’t yet approved will be at least $1.4 billion.

“I think it poses even more questions than answers,” Batkins said of the delays.

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