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1,147,271 Words of Obamacare Regulations Published So Far—270% as Long as the Text of the Statute.

04/20/2011 - 11:33am

Last year Congress passed the 906-page “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” followed by the 55-page “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”[1] Together, they form what is better known as Obamacare.

If you thought that Obamacare was long, it is only a fraction of the length of the regulations.

Obamacare contains over 700 directives for HHS and other agencies to implement Obamacare.[2]

We went through and counted all of the Obamacare regulation documents published so far.[3] We found that the number of pages in regulations are already 114% as long as the number of pages in the Obamacare statutes! The statutes contain 961 pages compared to 1,093 pages of regulations.

But regulations published in the Federal Register are published in small font, three columns wide.

What is more telling is the word count comparison. The Obamacare statutes together contain 425,116 words. Compare that to 1,147,271 words published so far in Obamacare regulation documents. The regulations are 270% as long as the statute itself.

The 1.1 million words in Obamacare regulations published so far are only a fraction of the regulations yet to come.

Now, more than ever, conservatives need to get involved in the regulatory process by submitting comments on these regulations. Take a look at the regulations currently open for comment. Then, tell the Obamacare Administration what you think by submitting your own comment.


[1] You may have heard that Obamacare is 2,000+ pages in length. Technically it is, or better, it was. While in bill form, the Obamacare statutes were a total of 2,471 pages long. Congressional bills have wide margins and are double spaced. The page counts in our first paragraph are more conservative as they are based on the number of pages in the Government Printing Office’s version of the Obamacare Statutes available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ148/pdf/PLAW-111publ148.pdf and http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ152/pdf/PLAW-111publ152.pdf.
[2] http://spectator.org/archives/2010/06/04/the-empress-of-obamacare.
[3] This includes 49 documents such as requests for information, advance notices of proposed rulemakings, proposed rules, interim final rules and final rules, and some notices. We excluded, however, many regulation documents which were only in part affected by the Obamacare statues.

Update (March 5, 2012): In our latest article we now estimate the Obamacare regulations to be 5x the length of the statute. That's one million pages more than what we estimated almost a year ago in the article above.