ACA Rules Delayed By White House Before 2012 Election

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What do Obamacare, environmental regulations, and worker safety rules all have in common? Provisions regarding each were reportedly delayed in 2012, so they would not be factors in the election. The issue was raised at a December meeting of the Administrative Conference of the United States (or, ACUS), an independent agency that uses research to try and improve the administrative process. After the ACUS conference concluded, a report was issued on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (or, OIRA). Part of the reason, officials said, was timing announcements so they would not impact the election.

Presidential rule-making is an integral part of the presidency, and since 1981, OIRA has been directed to “review any draft proposed or final rule or regulatory impact analysis from a covered agency.” OIRA was created within the Office of Management and Budget (or, OMB) in 1980. The study was designed to investigate why since 2011, OIRA review completion times had started to take a noticeably longer amount of time.

In 2004, 626 “significant” rules spent an average of 53 days in review. For 2012, there were 424 “significant” rules to be reviewed, averaging 79 days. In 2013, they counted 212 “significant” rules, and an average review time of 140 days.

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