Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made it clear on Wednesday: There is no Plan B for the hundreds of thousands of her constituents who risk losing health insurance should Republicans in Washington succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act.



Toni Preckwinkle looking at the camera: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks on the impact of a potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act during a news conference at Cook County Health in Chicago on Oct. 7, 2020.


© Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks on the impact of a potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act during a news conference at Cook County Health in Chicago on Oct. 7, 2020.

She warned of a possibly cataclysmic blowback within Cook County’s public hospital system that runs a massive insurance program made possible by the ACA, also known as Obamacare. Without it, there is no backup for many of the 370,000 low-income enrollees who have come to rely on the county’s largest Medicaid managed care plan to access health care, she said.

“Here’s the bottom line: The repeal of the ACA would not only financially cripple Cook County Health by dramatically increasing the amount of uncompensated health care we provide, it would be catastrophic — catastrophic — for the patients we serve,” Preckwinkle said at a news conference with several Democratic congressmen at Cook County Health’s Chicago headquarters.

Illinois Democrats have sounded the alarm on the implications of repealing the Affordable Care Act before, but Preckwinkle said Wednesday that now more than ever, there is “a very real threat this time around.”

That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments on the law’s constitutionality on Nov. 10 after GOP officials sued the federal government in 2018 to strike down Obamacare. And with the pending confirmation of President Donald Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the nation’s highest court, the cards could be stacked against the ACA.

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