It is becoming increasingly hard to tell whether Obamacare is the law of the land, or just the law of the parts of the land that don’t reside in (or aren’t in the good graces of) the executive branch.  One wonders:  Is it really too much to expect an administration that championed the passage of a 2,700-page overhaul of American medicine to live by the same law it was so eager to impose on others?

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has just released a memo (posted here at the 2017 Project) listing deadlines that Obamacare imposed on the Obama administration—or, if you prefer, that the Obama administration imposed on itself through Obamacare—and reporting whether the administration has met them or not.  To date, it appears that the administration has missed 25 deadlines that it was required, as a matter of law—as a matter of the president’s signature law—to meet.

For example, the CRS writes that Obamacare “[r]equires the Interagency Working Group on Health Care Quality, convened by the President and chaired by the HHS [Health and Human Services] Secretary, to submit to Congress, and publish on the Internet, a report on its progress and recommendations.”  Even though that report was due on New Year’s Eve 2010—1,206 days before the April 21, 2014 date of the CRS memo—the CRS writes, “No report has been submitted to Congress.”

The CRS writes that Obamacare “[r]equires the HHS Secretary to develop requirements for health plans to report on their efforts to improve health outcomes, prevent hospital readmission, ensure patient safety and reduce medical errors, and implement wellness and health promotion activities,” while it also requires HHS “to promulgate regulations that provide criteria for determining reimbursement structure to improve quality.”  But even though the deadline for completing these tasks was March 23, 2012—the 2-year anniversary of Obamacare (which is now more than four years old)—“No public information has been released.”

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