Former Bassett President: U.S. ‘Has Problem
On Its Hands;’ Hopes Senate Acts Responsibly
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Retired Bassett Healthcare president Bill Streck says the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives this afternoon is “a catastrophe for the American people.”
“The bill is a hodge-podge of agendas absent any coherent theme other than repealing the Affordable Care Act,” he said regarding this afternoon’s 217-213 vote. “The bill actually serves as a mechanism to prevent millions of Americans from obtaining health care.”
Streck, who since his retirement in 2014 has joined the Hospital Association of New York State (HANYS) as chief medical and health systems innovation officer, has kept the Cooperstown area apprised of the potential threats the ACHA presents to healthcare locally as the Obamacare repeal effort moved forward.
Here is the text of his remarks:
“The bill prevents people from maintaining insurance gained under the ACA, prevents affordable insurance for lower income and elderly patients and prevents a guarantee of consumer protections such as coverage for pre-existing conditions for all Americans.
“While Medicaid funding is primarily directed at care for the disabled and the elderly in America (70 percent of spending), the AHCA additionally uses health care reform as vehicle to dismantle the Medicaid program by converting the program to capped appropriations to prevent continuation of the social commitment of the program to individuals, reduces Medicaid investments by $839 billion and uses the savings to reduce taxes for those with high incomes.
“Just as it has taken time for Affordable Care Act to be appreciated as a positive vehicle for coverage in America, it will take some time to fully appreciate the wide-ranging damage that the AHCA will wreak on America. But that catastrophe is readily predictable when the aggregate effects of this bill are weighed.”