Our friends at the New York Times are almost as excited as the White House about all the “free” things we’re going to get from the administration’s new health care system:

On Thursday, the six-month anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a number of its most central consumer protections take effect, just in time for the midterm elections.

Starting now, insurance companies will no longer be permitted to exclude children because of pre-existing health conditions, which the White House said could enable 72,000 uninsured to gain coverage. Insurers also will be prohibited from imposing lifetime limits on benefits.

The law will now forbid insurers to drop sick and costly customers after discovering technical mistakes on applications. It requires that they offer coverage to children under 26 on their parents’ policies.

Wow! And it’s all free!

Well, not so fast.

A more sober take on the six month anniversary of the passage of the administration’s health care legislation can be found in the Wall Street Journal. Alas, none of this is free. Quoting a study from analysts at the Heritage Foundation and Ethics and Public Policy, John C. Goodman, CEO and fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, explains that premiums are estimated to skyrocket. Residents of several towns in Texas will see their premiums go up $5,000 a year, while New Yorkers can expect to fork out $6,000 more.

Somebody has got to pay.

It will be America’s seniors. Medicare, as Goodman writes, is actually a “lousy” system so many seniors buy Medicare Advantage, a sort of gap policy. Medicare Advantage seniors had 33% more doctor visits but 18% fewer days in the hospital days and 10% fewer hospital admissions than regular Medicare patients. Advantage seniors also had 27% fewer emergency-room visits, 13% fewer avoidable admissions, and 42% fewer readmissions.

And it’s not just for “thewealthiesttwopercent.” Goodman writes:

Many low-income seniors, however, have trouble paying three premiums to three plans, and all too often they find a decent Medigap plan unaffordable. For these retirees (about one in every four Medicare beneficiaries) Medicare Advantage plans have been a godsend. They have been able to enroll in comprehensive health plans that resemble the coverage many nonseniors have-often with no extra premium.

Although Medicare Advantage isn’t perfect and could use some improvement, it-ironically-does many of the things we were told that the new health care system would do. Too bad it has to go to help support a system the majority of us don’t even want.

Another good story in the Examiner counts the many was in which the new health care system is going to be far worse than even pessimists expected.