Today marks the six-month anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, widely known as ObamaCare. It is a day when the first significant round of benefits kicks in, and the Obama administration is taking every opportunity to tout them to the American public.
Insurers, we are being told, will no longer be able to impose annual limits or lifetime caps on benefits, and they will face a higher standard before than can drop anyone's coverage. Children will be guaranteed access to insurance, regardless of health condition. And there is more to come in the future.
Yet the administration is strangely silent about who will bear the cost of these benefits. Search the government's own health-reform website and you'll get the idea that the whole thing is one big free lunch.
The reality is that the cost of ObamaCare will be quite high for some people. By 2017, thousands of people in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio will be paying more than $5,000 a year in lost health-care benefits to make ObamaCare possible, according to a study published this month by Robert Book at the Heritage Foundation and James Capretta at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. For some New York City dwellers, the figure will exceed $6,000 a year. Unfortunate residents of Ascension, La., will pay more than $9,000 in lost benefits.
Who are these people? Are they the rich and the comfortable—the folks presidential candidate Barack Obama told us could afford to pay for health reform? Are they people who have excessively profited during a recession that's caused hardships for so many? Are they the ones who gained the most from the Bush tax cuts?
None of the above. According to the Book/Capretta study, the people getting hit with these very expensive tabs live in predominately low-income households. They are disproportionately minorities. They have trouble paying their own medical bills.
John C. Goodman: How Seniors Will Pay for ObamaCare - WSJ.com