Cost-benefit analysis requires knowing the costs

Obamacare may be one of those rare federal government programs that doesn’t provide a subsidy to specific Americans now while passing along all the costs to some unspecified Americans at some unknown time.

Just consider the numbers.

A major aspect of the Affordable Care Act is providing government subsidies to those who cannot afford health insurance. Last week, a report by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation estimated the number of people the act would help: 17 million.

But, some members of the American public have learned – contrary to President Barack Obama’s declaration – they will not keep their current health plan. White House Spokesman Jay Carney said that only would effect about 5 percent of the population.

That works out to some 16 million people. These folks will have to find new insurance policies; many will have to pay more for the coverage.

This is a step in the right direction, from the standpoint of funding government programs. The more Americans are required to pay for government programs foisted upon the public, the more they can honestly assess whether the benefits are worth the cost.