Friday, December 17, 2010

Republican Congress and 911 First Responders

Well, I made the mistake of watching the news last night while making dinner and once again I cannot believe my ears. Congress is blocking the bill to provide medical care to 911 first responders, who became ill after their rescue mission, from breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke at the World Trade Center. I am almost too angry to write about this and to say I am appalled and disgusted would be putting it mildly.

These American heroes, who were either sent to Ground Zero or volunteered of their own time to save lives and retrieve the remains of victims, are now victims themselves. Some have already died, others are very sick. Ten years have gone by and nothing has been done to help them. We are still talking about it? Congress still has to vote it through? I don’t understand what the hold up is and why the citizens of this country are allowing this to happen. This bill is WAY overdue! We cannot give these heroes back their lives or their health, but we OWE them the best medical care and doctors this country has to offer. How can this still be up for discussion???

Every time there is devastation any where in the world, we are the first to send money, and A LOT of money to help the victims. There is little or no discussion and the response is immediate. We don’t tell them to wait ten years and we will see what we can do! What is wrong with this picture? I wish that the people holding up this embarrassing long over due legislation could experience what these heroes have suffered and see if they would make any effort to move things along. Is ten years not long enough for them to worry and suffer?

What about the next time we are the victims of a terrorist attack? Has anyone in Congress considered that? How many rescue workers will call in sick that day and not respond, knowing their government isn’t going to look out for their best interests or take care of them if they get injured, ill or die as a consequence of their rescue efforts? How many people do you think will volunteer? I wouldn’t blame any of them if they all decided not to show up. Why should they respond when they have seen how others, who unselfishly risked their lives, have been treated?

This political delay tactic, on the part of Congress, is beyond disgraceful. It literally makes me sick to hear of something so unjust as to still be withholding medical care for these poor people ten years after the fact. If there were any kind of justice, all those opposed to passing the bill should be stripped of their medical insurance and then exposed to the same toxic substances for the same period of time, as the rescue workers, and let the chips fall where they may.

Don’t be surprised if the next time we are attacked, and there will be a next time, that no one shows up for any kind of rescue and cleanup. And, we won’t have to ask why or blame them for not doing so.

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