Sticker shock is back. Obamacare has raised premiums, on average, by 14–28 percent nationally, according to a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. That’s a big hike in a market that was already seeing year-on-year increases before Obamacare went into effect. Vox responds to these numbers by noting that the estimate doesn’t take federal subsidies into account. With subsidies, many individuals will find health care affordable even under the hikes.So everything is peachy-keen, right? Not so fast. Those subsidies, of course, come from the taxpayer—and yesterday the LA Times reported that taxpayers will be on the hook for more than expected. In April the CBO announced that the law would cost less than originally predicted, in part because of narrow networks and in part because fewer people were getting insured than expected (and therefore subsidy costs were lower). We now know that estimate was wrong. The April report pegged subsidy costs at $10 billion, but now they look more like $16 billion.Subsidies, then, may help lower-income people deal with expensive premium increases, but the nation as a whole can only bear the burden of rising costs for so long before the system collapses. This seems obvious enough, but the punditry continues to busily debate the particulars of how Obamacare goes about propping up an expanded version of the pre-ACA system. Meanwhile, the problems at the heart of that system will continue relentlessly driving up costs.