News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


American Health Care Act

Streck Sees ‘Catastrophe For The American People’

Streck Sees ‘Catastrophe

For The American People’

Former Bassett President: U.S. ‘Has Problem

On Its Hands;’ Hopes Senate Acts Responsibly

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Dr. Streck addresses a full house at Templeton Hall in February during House Republicans’ first effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. (

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:

Health Providers Reassured By Faso, Stuligross Reports

Health Providers Reassured

By Faso, Stuligross Reports

But Some Questions Remain After Oneonta Visit
U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19th, right, reassured health providers and community leaders this afternoon at the Oneonta Community Health Center on lower Main Street, according to county Rep. Kay Stuligross, D-Oneonta, one of the attendees.  In particular, the group was heartened by Faso’s expression of support for two key Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions, she said: Keeping young people on their parents’ health insurance until age 26, and not allowing insurers to deny benefits to applicants with pre-existing conditions.  Attendees included, from left, Otsego County Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan, Dr. Carolyn Wolf-Gould, Stuligross, Dr. Ben Friedell and Dr. Chris Wolf-Gould.  The physicians provide care at the center.  Stuligross said Faso was told that the ACA – Obamacare – has reduced the center’s patients by about half the 16-18 patients it used to serve per evening session, with the insurance allowing them to be treated at Fox or Bassett.  Lately, some of those patients have returned, blocked from regular treatment by high deductibles, she said.   Faso was not asked if he would vote for a new version of the Republican Congress’ American Health Care Act (AHCA), Stuligross said, but that he reported it would be better funded than the first version.  (Ian Austin/
‘Repeal, Replace’ Bill Phony, Backers Know It, Streck Says

‘Repeal, Replace’ Bill Phony,

Backers Know It, Streck Says

Former Bassett CEO Speaks To Providers At Otesaga
HANYS’ Bill Streck fields a question from Vance Brown, his successor as Bassett president/CEO, at today’s LCHP symposium at The Otesaga.  (Jim Kevlin /

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – The American Health Care Act, proclaimed as a replacement for Obamacare, is “stealth” legislation that doesn’t do what its supporters purport it will – and they know it.

Former Bassett CEO Bill Streck delivered that message today at a daylong symposium of  the Leatherstocking Collaborative Health Partners at The Otesaga.  The LCHP includes all providers of health-related services locally, from Springbrook and Pathfinder Village to LEAF.


Today’s lead editorial in the New York Times

Piece in yesterday’s Harvard Business Review

“It’s getting harder and harder to pretend:  It’s just a bad bill,” he said.  Congress is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow.

Streck, now chief innovation officer for HANYS (the state Hospital Association), outlined three example of how the ACHA (Speaker Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act) doesn’t do, or even intends to do, as a prospective replacement to the ACA (Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act):

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