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300,000 patients in Cook County could lose insurance if Obamacare repealed, analysis warns

300,000 patients in Cook County could lose insurance if Obamacare repealed, analysis warns

Cook County’s public health system would take a $1.4 billion hit and more than 300,000 residents who depend on the system would lose their insurance if Obamacare is repealed, according to an analysis announced Wednesday.

The estimates reflect the number of patients who are enrolled in Medicaid expansion plans made possible by the 2010 law and who receive treatment at Cook County’s public health system, officials said.

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, joined by six Democrats from Illinois’ congressional delegation, said she believes the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, is in danger because President Donald Trump’s administration has taken aim at repealing it and his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, has been critical of it.

“A repeal of the ACA would not only financially cripple Cook County Health by dramatically increasing the amount of uncompensated health care we already provide, it would be catastrophic to the patients we serve,” Preckwinkle said at a news conference.

Health system officials say they already provide half of the charitable health care in Cook County.

Debra Carey, interim chief executive of Cook County Health, said the $1.4 billion estimated loss represents revenue the health system brings in through Affordable Care Act plans and a projection that half of more than 300,000 patients depending on the health system would become uninsured and would require charity care.

Cook County Health, which includes John H. Stroger Hospital on the West Side and Provident Hospital on the South Side, treats patients enrolled in multiple Affordable Care Act health plans, Carey said.

“This is a real threat to our organization, the progress we have made under the Affordable Care Act and the people who have been served by it,” Carey said.

Carey may not be at the top job of the county health system much longer

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