The amount is equal to about one-half percent of the nation’s estimated gross domestic product from 2013 to 2020, and insurers led by United Health Group Inc. (UNH) would keep about $174 billion — $22 billion a year — for profit and administrative costs. The money comes from U.S. subsidies to people purchasing insurance beginning in 2014 and an expansion of Medicaid, the government’s health program for the poor.
The Supreme Court is weighing whether the law’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance is constitutional. If it isn’t, the court will decide how much of the law to strike down. Should the law survive the court’s review and Republican efforts at repeal, it is projected to expand insurance to 32 million Americans who lack it by 2016.
“It’s a confirmation of, one, how much money we’re spending as a nation on health care; and two, how much is riding on this court case and the Supreme Court’s decision,” Matt Barry, a Bloomberg Government health analyst and the study’s author, said in a phone interview. “You’re talking an amount of money here that can affect the economy, not just an industry.”