‘American Lives at Risk’ Report Highlights Painful Impact of Federal ‘Regulatory Reform’

Washington DC–(ENEWSPF)–April 3, 2012.  A new report by Demos and the U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) finds that Americans’ lives, health and livelihoods would be put at risk if so called “regulatory reform” proposals now being considered by the U.S. Congress were to become law, slowing or stopping the regulatory process.  The new reports, offering state-level data in Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania, detail the number of the state’s residents harmed each year of delay in the creation of three upcoming rulemakings.


Key findings from the report series “American Lives at Risk” include:

  • In Pennsylvania alone, for each year the government fails to update the restriction on levels of toxic soot in the air the state will face 3,890 preventable deaths and 84,539 preventable asthma attacks among children.  
  • In Ohio, delaying the Affordable Care Act’s ban on health insurance companies discriminating against patients with pre- existing conditions for one year will put 65,060 newly diagnosed cancer patients at risk of being denied health insurance.
  • Allowing food processors to delay one year before using new standards from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safe handling of produce will cause approximately 200,000 local cases of foodborne illness—more than the entire city of Worcester. 

“The negative consequences of the industry-backed ‘regulatory reform’ proposals should they become law are difficult to overstate,” said Ben Peck, Demos Senior Legislative and Policy Associate.  “These proposals would have such a profound impact on our daily lives—from our first breath in the morning to the food we eat throughout the day. Without government safeguards, experience has shown that industry will cut corners in pursuit of short-term profit. Electric utilities will foul our air, and food processors will neglect the safety procedures needed to keep our food free of contamination.  Proponents of ‘regulatory reform’ minimize the real-world impact of the years added to the basic regulatory process because of the new red tape these proposals would create.  Our analysis shows how every year costs American lives.”  

 “This report demonstrates that the ‘regulatory reform’ proposals being considered by Congress are a serious threat to Americans,” explained Nasima Hossain, Public Health Advocate at U.S. PRIG. “Policymakers should resist efforts by powerful special interests to weaken public health and consumer safety rules. The need for consumer safety should not be a political question or a partisan issue.”

Source: demos.org