Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First Responders Left in the Dust

Sep 12, 2012
John Devlin, 9/11 first responder & Kirk Arsenault, 9/11 first responder join Thom Hartmann. Now on to those who continue to struggle 11 years after the attacks. I'm talking about the 9/11 first responders - the police officers, firefighters, and volunteers who rushed to the rubble to look for survivors - and spent days, weeks, and months at ground zero recovering bodies and cleaning up the rubble. Those men and women are today dealing with sickness - unaware at the time that the air they were breathing at Ground Zero was toxic. Cancers, heart problems, and respiratory problems continue to plague the first responders today - and tragically - have led to the deaths of as many as 1,000 of these brave Americans. A year and a half ago - Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act - to give sick first responders the healthcare they deserve for serving their nation. It was a hard fought victory just to get the bill passed - as Republicans in the House opposed it - with even Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan voting against it. But passing it was just the first battle - the next battle for responders was proving that the cancers and illnesses they suffer from were indeed caused by the toxic rubble at ground zero. Now - there might be some good news. On Monday - the National Institute for Occupational Safety announced they do recognize a link between more than 50 types of cancer and the work done at Ground Zero - thus giving health care coverage to more than 70,000 surviving first responders.


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