If The Fire Department Were Run Like Healthcare…

During a press conference prior to the first of six public hearings held by the New York Assembly across the state, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee since 1987, was asked by a reporter whether his legislation for universal, public health coverage for all of New York would limit patients’ choice of providers… Watch as Assemblyman Gottfried flips the script on the reporter, and paints a picture of how inhumane and dysfunctional our fire services would be if they worked like the U.S. healthcare system!


  1. clyde winter on April 16, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Assemblyman Gottfried, chair of the NY state assembly Health Care Committee, provided a clear, concise response to the question whether a class-based, tiered (platinum to bronze) health care system, which arbitrarily restricts and narrows the choices and treatment options (based on ability of the individual to pay), and costs twice as much per capita as all other developed nations while providing significantly worse measured outcomes, makes any sense at all for the good of the country and the well-being of the people.

  2. Carol Jackson on April 16, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Obama ran on the idea of single payer because it was the only thing that made sense, that is until the lobbyists got to him and the congress. The insurance and pharmaceutical companies are now even more enriched so nothing will change until we get the money out of politics. We need to start with getting rid of the disastrous Citizens United ruling by a constitutional ammendment. Only then will our legislature make decisions for we the people instead of the highest campaign donor.

    • Alán Alán Apurim on July 8, 2015 at 2:32 am

      . . . (at Carol Jackson): The ultimate way to get the Big Bucks out of politics is to have shared pools of campaign-funding (instead of direct funding which is like counting dollars for votes before the election day), but more importantly, take away the incentive to bribe politicians, by taking away their right to vote on their legislation! Take legislative voting-approval away from legislators (who will be bribed) and give it to the People. Voters will have separate elections for legislators’ candidacies and for direct approval of the legislation they write, approving (or not) each bill as it’s introduced, year round. I suggest a two-month window of voting on each bill, except emergency-funding measures that could be approved in one week. Even if only one percent of the voters voted on any legislative bill, that’s far more (unbribed) eyes reading it than do in Congress!
      . . . Instead of hoping Congress will pass a Constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United ruling (they will never “bite the hand that feeds them”), We the People are enabled to initiate an amendment through our states. The detailed explanation and a form to petition your State is found at http://DemocracyAmendmentUSA.net … The proposed 28-word 28th Amendment simply reads:
      “We the People hereby empower the majority of American Citizens
      to approve all Federal legislation, Presidential executive orders,
      and any Judicial decisions that impact the majority of citizens.”

  3. Liz on April 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Clyde, as I read your comment, rather the description of our current healthcare option, I thought, ‘ Is everyone taking the stupid pill?Americans have sat idly by and allowed themselves to be forced to purchase another over-priced shoddy product..why would anyone with a grain of good sense buy a product like that?” It’s not as if it will even protect them from bankruptcy. Americans have become so accustomed to paying top dollar for cheap shoddy goods- even those that are harmful and cause death and cost them more money in the long run. I just don’t understand. Incomes have significantly decreased in the last two years even though the cost of living has increased and I just don’t understand why Americans, based on just the economic hardship, aren’t outraged that they are being forced to purchase an over-priced product that doesn’t deliver what it should. People think that they are getting a good deal when they hear terms like free ‘ preventive care’which really annoys me. First of all, colonoscopies, pap smears and mammograms are not preventive. They are designed to detect a disease, not prevent one. Preventive medicine on the other hand is designed to prevent disease and many of the services that those doctors provide are not covered and frankly, most functional or preventive care doctors don’t want to accept insurance because then they must practice within the dictates of the insurance companies.

    70 percent of medical bankruptcies were filed by those who were already insured. Insurance isn’t going to prevent that from happening and even worse, many of the plans, including the silver plan, don’t provide adequate coverage for basic things like anesthesia! How many read the fine print before purchasing. Who would think to ask if anesthesia is covered for a mastectomy or if they need to bring their own whiskey?

    How could anyone believe that their health and well-being is the priority in a for-profit medical system? It simply doesn’t make a bit of sense.

    • Robert Greenhouse on April 16, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      What you say is what I have observed but as long as all that happens is talk nothing will change.

  4. Victoria on April 17, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Liz,You’re absolutely right. It’s not the stupid pill though, it’s that Americans have bought into the lies fed them by the pharm and insurance companies, that have them terrified of “socialized medicine.”
    The insurance companies have Congress in their pockets. I don’t know what will change things — people get ill and die in private, so it’s not visible.
    We desperately need Medicare extended to everyone, as it was designed to be when it was first created.

  5. John "Hai" Knapp on April 24, 2015 at 7:37 am

    I have thought of that idea a long time ago “what if the fire department ran like our healthcare system?” I have made a skit that I have performed many times live; I also have a video of it on YouTube. “Firechief Hai” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tfHGoGXLKA