The regulations for the Affordable Care Act will run into the hundreds of thousands of pages. Hospitals, clinics, and doctors will have to review and implement expensive changes. The EPA is cranking out very restrictive regulations, some of which exceed statutory authority and take policy positions not addressed in governing legislation.
So why are we getting so much regulation? Politics and lobbying, lazy lawmakers, and overly zealous administrators.
Politics and Lobbying
Lawmakers are elected to turn their policy ideas into legislation. When they stir too much of their political policy into the existing rubric of laws and regulations and market economics, you get a thick, distasteful, and harmful stew. Consider also the potent influence of lobbying groups wanting laws favoring their members. For instance, many groups have sought licensing and regulations to "protect the public." Or are they really just trying to limit competition by erecting a high bar to entry?
In the last decades, Congress began making laws expressed in conceptual but legally vague terms knowing that regulations or court cases would define the specifics of the law. So they punt the cost of their fuzzy thinking or their legally sloppy work to the public, who must either comply with ridiculous, burdensome regulations or litigate at great cost against a government with a bottomless supply of lawyers. The PPACA calls into existence countless new federal agencies, all of which will have to define their mission by writing new regulations. Regulations are sometimes appropriate. But in my opinion, Congress has unconstitutionally delegated legislative power to bureaucrats.
Regulators like to regulate; that's what they do. Once you begin to draw fine lines around things, it's almost impossible to stop. The laudable goal of a wheelchair-accessible environment becomes ridiculous and costly when regulation requires modification of sidewalks where a wheelchair never has and never will come. Regulators don't face election, and they have jobs for life. Congress hardly ever reins them in, so what's to prevent them from implementing their own version of policy.
Over-sophistication of the Law
There is an entire domain in which we must regulate ourselves. As we pile law upon law, their burden soon stifles business and living, warping markets and hurting the people they’re meant to protect. If we don’t cooperate in getting out of a parking lot after a football game, we must hire more police, develop more rules, etc. We cannot nor do we want to legislate everything. It is the absolute necessity to render “obedience to the unenforceable….” John Fletcher Moulton.
I hope lawmakers will wake up and see what they and their regulatory agencies are costing America.