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Label Tracking and CPSIA: What This Fiasco Tells Us About The Aftermath of Obamacare

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One of my mantras for the past eight months has been that the aftermath of Congress’s ham-handed response to the “lead-in-Chinese-toys” crisis of last year is a predictor of the aftermath of a far more complicated Congressional intervention into American medicine represented by all versions of Obamacare now on the table.

If Congress couldn’t legislate on lead levels in toys without sideswiping thousands of businesses and costing the American economy tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in costs, then what do you expect will be the aftermath of Obamacare’s thousands of pages of law and regulation?

Here’s another hint: The Consumer Products Safety Improvements Act of 2008 (“CPSIA”) mandated extensive labeling and label tracking rules for covered products. The regulations and guidance implementing those mandates appeared this week. The date for compliance is August 14 –meaning that every covered product must be brought into compliance in about two weeks. This is of course impossible, which means that all covered companies will be open to suit by state attorneys general and private plaintiff actions. (The impacted industries had better get an action for declaratory relief on preemption under way asap.)

The details are covered at a blog on CPSIA maintained by Rick Woldenberg, who is the Chairman of Learning Resources, Inc. a producer of educational products, many of which are governed by CPSIA. The blog is a glimpse of your world under Obamacare’s new regulations if you are in leadership at any company involved in the vast networks of American medicine. You will quickly go from leading your company in innovation and service delivery to the job of regulatory gambler, doing your best to guess which way the as-yet unwritten rules will fall.

I will have Rick Woldenberg on today’s show or sometime next week to not only highlight the incredible incompetence of Congress and the pressing need to fix CPSIA but also to highlight the undeniable fact that if Obamacare passes, the unintended consequences and extraordinary costs that are certain to follow are far, far beyond anything you have yet even imagined.

Here’s some more background from my past coverage of CPSIA, and you can count on Walter Olson to keep the latest CPSIA news front and center at Overlawyered, as does the Shop Floor blog from the NAM.


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