Within months, many Ohioans will be paying much more for health insurance they don't want or need, because the federal government has told them they have no choice. That is the bottom line on "Obamacare," the new national health care mandate, regardless of what its proponents claim.
Obamacare requires that all Americans obtain health insurance, either through government programs such as Medicaid, through their employers or privately. Those who fail to do so - perhaps because they cannot afford insurance - will pay taxes or penalties up to $695 a year.
Many Ohioans, including some who work for small businesses, will have to buy government-approved insurance through an "exchange" set up by the state. The average cost of such policies will be 41 percent higher than under current law.
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who also heads the state Department of Insurance, revealed the numbers last week. Beginning next year, when Obamacare kicks in fully for individuals, the average monthly premium for insurance through the exchange will be $332.58, Taylor said. That compares to $236.29 under current law.
One reason for the increase is that Obamacare dictates what type of health insurance coverage people can buy. Lower-cost policies, often chosen by those who need to hold down spending, simply won't be available anymore.
Proponents of Obamacare reacted angrily to Taylor's announcement. Comments by Col Owens of the Legal Aid Society for Southwest Ohio, were typical.
Of those such as Taylor who are telling Ohioans what Obamacare will cost, Owens said, "They ought to be saying that premiums are going to go up but more people are going to be covered and coverage will be better ... and it's going to be more affordable because people who need help paying for it will be helped."
That is a money-grows-on-trees assessment, of course. Someone has to pay for all those facets of Obamacare mentioned by Owens.
That "someone" is taxpayers, who will have to pay for subsidies some Ohioans will receive to help pay for insurance.
But the bottom line is that many Ohioans will get no help in paying for insurance required by Obamacare. The additional hundreds of dollars a year will come out of their own pockets, or else they will be forced to pay the tax for failing to buy policies.
That is the simple, brutal truth about Obamacare - and many Buckeye State residents are about to learn it, at great expense.