With the coronavirus tightening its grip, the past few years look like a lost golden age for US health-care companies.

The introduction of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 brought an influx of new business. Consolidation allowed companies to wring out costs and charge higher prices. The big five insurers — UnitedHealth, Anthem, Cigna, Humana and CVS Health — collectively raked in a record $33.1bn in profits on $820bn of revenues in 2019.

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