With the nation focused on the coming cost of Obamacare and the personal expense of avoiding the system, there's another U.S. policy initiative that may ultimately cost Americans much more dearly. The White House recently announced that it favors the promotion of free trade in liquified natural gas, rather than the protectionist attitude adopted by America's Energy Advantage, a lobbying group spearheaded by Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) and Alcoa (NYSE:AA).

While the policy may benefit energy companies such as Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), it will hurt innovation and the bottom line of retailers such as Wal-Mart that could rely on cheap transportation from liquified natural gas.

In the following video, Fool.com contributor Doug Ehrman discusses the policy, how it compares with the cost of Obamacare, and why it has important investment ramifications.