The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already missed as many as four deadlines under the law—not on any major regulations—but still a worrying trend, critics say.
Congressional staff and industry representatives have also been asking HHS for a timeline specifying when it will issue the numerous regulations required by the law. They were shocked to find the agency has not produced such a document, one aide said.
The issue is important because vast industry sectors are trying to plan their own implementations of the health-care law and most of the details remain in bureaucrats' hands, leaving a vacuum of uncertainty about the final burdens the law will impose.
The missed deadlines include creating task forces on breast cancer and Alaskan health care, publishing a list of new authorities granted under the law, and setting a schedule for a Government Accountability Office study and financial audit.