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Health Care Law Mandate ‘Tax’: How Many People Will It Affect?

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The health insurance mandate upheld today by the Supreme Court will impact roughly 26 million Americans, or 8 percent of the population, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute and an independent analysis by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who advised both Mitt Romney and President Obama on health care law.

Those individuals will be required to obtain coverage or pay a fine starting in 2014.

Not everyone will be forced to pay out of pocket, however. Here’s how it breaks down – courtesy of the Urban Institute:

  • 8.1 million will be eligible for free/close-to-free insurance through expansion of Medicaid under the law.
  • 10.9 million will have to purchase coverage but receive subsidies to help with premiums
  • 7.3 million (2 percent of population) will not be eligible for any assistance and will simply have to buy a plan or pay the penalty.

The mandate will not directly impact most Americans.  Two hundred fifty million out of 268 million non-elderly, or 94 percent, of Americans already have insurance coverage through an employer or the government and don’t face the penalty or having to buy a new plan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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