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a $1.4 billion hit and more than 300,000 residents who depend on the system would lose their insurance if Obamacare is repealed, according to an analysis announced Wednesday.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

When Blue KC pulled out there were few options for the 67,000 people affected by the move. But it’s a different scene today. The Kansas City market has become increasingly competitive with several insurers, including Ambetter and Cigna serving local ACA customers, said Abraham, “a fairly decent number of insurers competing.”

“And I think Blue KC probably also has to be thinking about what effect that has on other parts of their insurance, other lines of business, in the bigger picture as these insurers kind of get a foothold in Missouri, and what impact that might have on other types of insurance that Blue KC sells, particularly to employer groups, and to some extent Medicare,” said Abraham.

Blue KC’s Spira Care is currently only available through employers. Members have access to “enhanced primary care centers” in Kansas City’s Crossroads district, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, Olathe, Shawnee, Tiffany Springs and Wyandotte County, and soon in Overland Park.

They’re designed as a one-stop shop where members have access to concierge-style “care guides,” reflecting what Blue KC members said they wanted their health care to look like, said Housley.

“We met with consumers, and some of them were former members on our plans when we were in the ACA, and said what do you want? How could we make health care better?'” said Housley.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the area’s largest healthcare insurance provider, will return to the Affordable Care Act marketplace next year after leaving it in 2018.

The insurer lost more than $100 million on its exchange plans from 2014 to 2017, calling the losses “unsustainable” when it announced in May 2017 that it was dropping out of the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.

Blue KC had struggled to make more money on the exchange than it paid in claims. But the marketplace is more stable in 2020 and there is new need in the scores of people who have lost their jobs and health coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, said company officials who announced the comeback on Tuesday.

When the company left, “we really felt like the level of uncertainty and the lack of clarity in that market was just really at an all-time high,” said Jenny Housley, Blue KC senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “And it just made it really difficult for us to plan. So for us, then, given the losses, it made sense to exit.

“We promised … to reassess that decision every year. So we never stopped looking at it. We didn’t want to leave the market. We just had to make a very difficult decision. So we reassessed every year, as promised, and that was a continual process as part of our business operations every year.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve seen premiums in the ACA market stabilize, seem to be at some pretty sustainable levels. So we felt like it was becoming more of an option for us to reconsider entry back into the market.”

The Kansas City region had 87,500 people unemployed in July, compared to 126,000 in April, the highest month of unemployment since the

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the area’s largest healthcare insurance provider, will return to the Affordable Care Act marketplace next year after leaving it in 2018.

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The insurer lost more than $100 million on its exchange plans from 2014 to 2017, calling the losses “unsustainable” when it announced in May 2017 that it was dropping out of the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.

Blue KC had struggled to make more money on the exchange than it paid in claims. But the marketplace is more stable in 2020 and there is new need in the scores of people who have lost their jobs and health coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, said company officials who announced the comeback on Tuesday.

When the company left, “we really felt like the level of uncertainty and the lack of clarity in that market was just really at an all-time high,” said Jenny Housley, Blue KC senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “And it just made it really difficult for us to plan. So for us, then, given the losses, it made sense to exit.

“We promised … to reassess that decision every year. So we never stopped looking at it. We didn’t want to leave the market. We just had to make a very difficult decision. So we reassessed every year, as promised, and that was a continual process as part of our business operations every year.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve seen premiums in the ACA market stabilize, seem to be at some pretty sustainable levels. So we felt like it was becoming more of an option for us to reconsider entry back into the market.”

The Kansas City region had 87,500 people unemployed in July, compared to 126,00 in April, the highest month of unemployment

The Daily Beast

They Protested at a Police Station. They’re Charged With Trying to Kidnap Cops.

The July 3 protest in Aurora, Colorado, seemed, at least on the surface, like just another of the hundreds of racial justice protests that have swept the nation this year. Demonstrators sat outside a police station chanting and playing music. Although they said they wouldn’t leave until their demands were met, the protesters were cleared out by police around 4:30 a.m.Colorado Protest Erupts in Panic as Car Drives Into Crowd, Shots Fired But several of the protest leaders are facing felony attempted kidnapping charges for allegedly imprisoning police officers in their own precinct during the protest—charges their fellow activists are calling absurd.Lillian House, Joel Northam, and Whitney “Eliza” Lucero are among a group of Denver-area activists facing a slate of charges related to their protest activities this summer. Local prosecutors say the activists tried to kidnap police by holding a short-lived “occupation”-style protest outside the precinct and blocking its doors. But activists allege a crackdown on the most visible members of their movement, leading to terrifying SWAT arrests and the threat of years in prison.“This characterization that someone quote-unquote kidnapped officers is absolutely ridiculous,” Ryan Hamby, an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Marxist group with which House, Northam, and Lucero are affiliated, told The Daily Beast.“It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious,” he added.The July 3 protest was one of many that called for the termination of officers involved in the killing of Elijah McClain, a young Black man who died in Aurora Police custody last year. McClain was not accused of any crime but became the subject of police suspicion while walking home from the convenience store when someone called 911 to report him “look[ing] sketchy.” Police