Monday, June 18, 2012

9/11 health fund to cover cancer

I have long advocated that all levels of government should do the right thing by our First Responders of 9/11. I have often written about those survivors who not only have to fight the diseases and illness they got as a direct result of their actions that terrible day, but have also had to fight their governments to have those diseases and illness recognised and treated appppropriately and honourably. At the beginning of June I wrote this:

Feds’ 9/11 cancer decision delayed for “no significant reason”

I have often written about the legacy of illnesses which our 9/11 First Responders live with 11 years on. Ever since 9/11, the politicians have dragged their heels against paying the surviving men and women what they are owed for their courageous acts on that terrible day. If you put 'Zadroga Bill', or any combination of '9/11,' or 'First Responders' in the search thingie at the top left of this site, you can trace the battles being fought by our First Responders and those who love them continue to fight

One of the recurring issues has been whether cancer should be included in the criteria for compensation. I have written of Firemen, Policemen and EMT survivors who have had to fight to their last cancerous breath to have the politicians do the honourable thing, and acknowledge that cancer is a direct result of what happened on September 11, 2001, and that these personnel and their families should be compensated.... (read the rest here)

Now, finally, comes this:

9/11 health fund to cover cancer

By Elise Viebeck - 06/11/12

People exposed to toxic World Trade Center dust will now see cancer covered under the health fund created to treat their illnesses.

The highly anticipated decision means that anyone exposed to fallout from the towers' collapse can apply to receive treatment if they develop cancer — whether the cancer can be definitively linked to the 9/11 event or not.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the law that created the fund, praised the decision by Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

"I think it’s an important statement that the country’s going to take care of the workers and people who are there to save the lives of the people of the city,” she told The New York Times.
Some have wondered whether the decision is fair because it is hard to establish whether a case of cancer — 50 types will be covered — developed specifically because of Ground Zero debris. Others point out that the $4.3 billion health fund will now have fewer resources for illnesses that are definitively linked to the 9/11 fallout.

Those living, working or attending school in Lower Manhattan between Sept. 11, 2001, and May 2002 are among those eligible for compensation for pain, suffering and economic loss, according to the Times. (source: Healthwatch)

This is a step in the right direction, but I - for one - will not be happy until every politician stops playing politics with the lives of our 9/11 Heroes, and opens up the purse strings. Period.

It is wrong, wrong, WRONG that these Americans should ever have to concern themselves with anything other than taking care of themselves and their families.

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