On January 18, President Obama called for an unprecedented and ambitious government-wide “lookback” at federal regulations. The lookback requires all agencies to reexamine their significant rules and to streamline, reduce, improve, or eliminate them.
A few months ago, and after consulting with the public, over two dozen departments and agencies released plans to remove what the President has called “absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money.” And we’re continuing our work to identify and eliminate regulations that don’t make sense.
Just a small fraction of our burden-reducing reforms promise billions of dollars in savings over the next five years. And many of these changes overlap with the recent recommendations of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Today, one part of this larger effort is moving forward. The Department of Health and Human Services is announcing three sets of important reforms that are expected to save more than $1 billion every year in health care overhead and paperwork costs. These reforms are aimedat reducing unnecessary, obsolete, or burdensome regulations on American hospitals and healthcare providers.
While some of the reforms are a bit technical, they are going to save doctors, nurses, and patients a lot of time and money:
Today’s announcements are just one step in a continuing process of regulatory reform. In the recent past, other significant cost-saving initiatives have been announced by the Departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Labor, State, and Transportation, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.
Our new initiatives, coming from more than two dozen agencies, are designed to change the regulatory culture of Washington by constantly exploring what is working and what isn’t. Agencies are continuing to review their rules – to make sure that the lookback is not just a one-time event. New ideas are welcome. We are reaching out to hospitals, nurses, physicians, consumers, and patients to hear their ideas about how we can make our health care system stronger and eliminate outdated and unnecessary regulations. You can click here for information on where to send us your thoughts and comments on today’s proposals.
Cass Sunstein is the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs