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View Diary: Sen. Susan Collins calls cops on 9/11 First Responders (207 comments)

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  •  Just recognize.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that this bill pays off "responders" (as distinct from "first responders") who worked on the 9/11 site months after the fact in cleanup efforts and so forth.  I doubt the choice of the word "responder" is an accident; I think it is meant to confuse the issue, as it has obviously confused the diarist.  

    John Feal, for instance, the protester mentioned in the quoted article, is a good man who assisted in the rescue efforts in the aftermath of 9/11, but he is neither a firefighter nor a policeman but rather a demolition supervisor who was injured while working on the 9/11 site after the collapse.

    The precedent of putting government on the hook for cash claims by volunteers who assist at disaster sites is a precedent I am not entirely comfortable with.  Volunteerism is its own reward, but one that does not normally carry with it a future financial benefit, and to demand benefits after the fact in such a belligerent fashion as Feal is doing is... well, cringeworthy.  Politicians of course can't say this stuff but I can.

    •  If we had a public option or medicare buy in..... (5+ / 0-)

      The precedent of putting government on the hook for cash claims by volunteers who assist at disaster sites is a precedent I am not entirely comfortable with.  Volunteerism is its own reward, but one that does not normally carry with it a future financial benefit

      ....this issue would be moot and the need for a bill unnecessary. Anyone who got sick would have the ability to get the care they need and deserve. No Senate approval required.

      Welcome to Survivor America 2010 - The Forgotten.

      by GrannyOPhilly on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 12:45:19 PM PST

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      •  That is perhaps partially true... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...although, in addition to purely authorizing medical care for the 9/ll "responders", the bill also authorizes the payment of cash claims to those who worked on the 9/11 sites.  (Another minor point is that public insurance such as Medicare does not pay 100% for everything, or provide "Cadillac" coverage, whereas this bill appears to cover health claims completely.)  

        Regardless, we do not have universal coverage in this country.  Feal and his group are asking for a special benefit for themselves to which all Americans, no matter how heroic they are, are not entitled.  They are relying to a certain extent on the fetishization of 9/11 in our culture to extort that benefit from the legislature.  Are you at all uncomfortable with that?

    •  those responders who breathed in (6+ / 0-)

      the asbestos are going to have the exact same cancers as those who went into the buildings immediately.

      asbestos is non-discriminatory - the fiber doesn't care when it embeds into lung tissue.

      the fact remains that had the incident of 9/11 happened, these people would not have the health issues they have today.

      this isn't about "future financial benefit" - it is about dealing with long-term medical issues.

      you are wrong - seriously wrong - in your misinterpretation of fact here.

      MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

      by edrie on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 01:20:37 PM PST

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      •  Fires Burned For Weeks Too (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edrie, 4Freedom, Alanhawaii

        The remains of the WTC burned fir weeks, too, while those mere "responders" helped with trying to recover potential survivors in the rubble pile.  Our government in the form of the EPA lied about the potential lethality of the dust and the smoke from the pile and covered up the problems for years.  All of that was done so the the stock exchanges could get back up to to speed down on Wall Street.  After all, the Bush administration knew what "counted."

        Has anyone ever mentioned that the dusty residue which washed off the building and sites in the WTC area in the rain ran in the gutters with the color of human flesh?  Anyone who ever visited the WTC site in the months after the attack can likely affirm that observation.  

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 01:45:26 PM PST

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      •  What fact did I mininterpret? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think I am wrong in interpreting fact when I say that the bill makes after-the-fact volunteers eligible for cash compensation-- an item in the official summary of the bill says:

        make individuals eligible for compensation under the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 for harm as a result of debris removal;

        The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund pays not only medical bills, but it pays a minimum $300,000 award, and pays claims based on expected income, also with an additional standard $250,000 pain and suffering allowance for injuries.  These cash benefits can be increased at the discretion of the administrator, and there is no maximum payout established.  So it is indeed about "future financial benefit."  

        •  your post implies that those who were involved (4+ / 0-)

          AFTER the intitial attack, involved in the months of cleanup and aftermath are, somehow, NOT "first responders and therefore, not worthy of being compensated for their illnesses and pain and ptsd.

          your post is particularly judgemental, btw, it portrays those who had to sort through body parts and pulverized flesh and bone as somehow not worthy of consideration.  your post implied that they were only in it for the money.

          well, skymutt, there is not enough money in the world to compensate those that were tasked with cleaning up the human dust and remains and shattered lives.

          would YOU have walked into that situation, risked YOUR health, you life, your mental well-being for money?

          no - those that came and used their hands, their bodies, their lives to help ny and this nation heal do not deserve the insinuation that they did it for the money.

          i find your post disturbing and sad.  i find it doubly sad that you don't realize or recognize the word "victim" in this conversation.  those who have to scrape up what is left from such a disaster are victims, too.  they have to live with this for the rest of their lives, both physically and mentally... yet you didn't find them saying - uh, no, not unless you PAY me - i won't do this!

          those who were involved in the cleanup that now have chronic lung issues, those whose lives were forever disrupted and damaged by being up close and personally involved - yes, they deserve compensation.

          i am a new yorker (albeit currently living on the west coast).  i can not go back - not yet.  i've friends and family who have been to the site.  i cannot.  there are too many memories involved that prevent me from going.  i get physically ill when i think about it.  and i am 3000 miles away.

          for those who were tasked with the horrific job of making new york and this nation return to a degree of normalcy again, i cannot thank them enough and what ever they need to be whole again - they deserve it.

          MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

          by edrie on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 04:03:01 PM PST

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          •  It's all about fundamental fairness with me. (0+ / 0-)

            This is why I will never be a "progressive," as it has come to be known about these parts.  To be accepted, you have to accept everyone's sad story equally and, at the suggestion of others, pay them off with wheelbarrows full of money that we don't really have.  To be a progressive, you have to silently agree NOT to make choices, NOT to have priorities, and instead you have to agree to every $7.4 billion dollar boondoggle that comes down the pike.  You have to agree for example to never even consider the opportunity cost of peeling off another $7.4 billion from the national wallet to benefit a few.  

            What, for instance, is special about the victims of 9/11 as opposed to the victims of other tragedies?  Consider the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing for example, who did not get such a benefit-- presumably, because they did not live in the media capital of the world:

            Some Oklahoma City bombing victims are feeling neglected nearly a year after the terrorist attacks because Congress didn't include them in a compensation fund with an expected average payout of $1.65 million for relatives of the Sept. 11 dead.

            Oklahoma City families don't begrudge the Sept. 11 families anything, said Dan McKinney, who lost his wife, Linda, in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building that was bombed in 1995. But Congress hasn't acted fairly, he said.

            "The way I look at it, a terrorist attack is a terrorist attack," he said. "People just don't realize that there wasn't money given out after the bombing."

            The government paid death or disability benefits to federal employees or their families after Timothy McVeigh gutted the Alfred P. Murrah Building with a truck bomb, killing 168 people.

            Cafeteria employees, parents of children killed in the day care center and those who died while visiting the building didn't receive federal benefits.


            And who can blame the victims of Oklahoma City from feeling neglected after seeing 9/11 victims getting paid so handsomely?  We can see that there is no will in Congress to pay the victims of terrorist acts in general-- when a bill was introduced to compensate Oklahoma City victims as 9/11 victims were compensated, it went nowhere.

            Bottom line, the 9-11 victim fund was arbitrary and unfair to begin with, by creating a special payoff regime for just that one tragedy-- benefits that the government is simply not prepared to pay for victims in other tragedies.  And now I'm a bad guy for raising an eyebrow because we want to include a whole new class of victims into this special fund to the tune of $7.4 billion?  You'll have to forgive me if that attack slides off me like water off a duck's back.

            I'm not advocating for no disaster relief here, let's be clear about that.  I'm just not for minting a bunch of disaster millionaires in one case, and leaving people high and dry in another.

            I am sorry that you are so emotionally disturbed by 9/11 that you can't even go back, and that you can't even think about it without becoming physically ill.  But I'd suggest then that maybe you're a little too emotionally invested to be objective about this.

            •  do you have ANY idea of the effects of (0+ / 0-)

              asbestos on the lungs?  the difference with 9/11 and oklahoma city is that the responders were breathing asbestos - pulverized, powdered asbestos.

              many of the rescuers have already been afflicted with lung disease because of breathing that grey cloud of dust/asbestos/human pulverized remains/etc.

              the city was enveloped in a cloud of same debris - but those tasked with removing it were exposed in lethal dosage.

              are you familiar with the structure of asbestos?  that little dog-bone shape that burrows lovingly into lung tissue and causes the tissue to react by growing madly trying to rid itself of that little particle (think cancer, think mesotheliaoma - if you are capable of thinking at all.

              here is a link for your edification.  read it and then get back to me when you've shed your selfish self-serving righteous attitude.

              and, just in case you can't be bothered to read said link, let me share with you a little picture to make you feel smug. it's from the cdc...
              lung tissue asbestosasbestos fibers lodged within lung tissue

              oh, yeah, forgot to mention, it takes about 15 years for the disease to become full-blown (meaning, to kill slowly by suffocation those affected).

              educate yourself and maybe next time, you won't come across as such an ass, heartless bastard or selfish republican wannabe.

              MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

              by edrie on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:50:05 PM PST

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              •  You're the one that comes off as an ass... (0+ / 0-)

                ...not me.  How ironic that you call me self-righteous after this barrage of self-righteous insults that you've hurled at me.  

                The compensation fund isn't just for victims with mesothelioma or asbestos-related illnesses, so your "argument," such as it is, falls apart on its face.  The fund isn't even just for workers at the WTC site, but also the Pentagon and the plane crash in Pennsylvania.  The fund is available to "responders" who had the same kinds of injuries as the victims of Oklahoma City and other terrorist acts.  Those other victims had no similar fund available to them.  The 9/11 fund was available to people who died of their injuries-- no such fund ever existed for Oklahoma City victims or victims of other attacks.

                If the bill were just about mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses, that would be one thing.  But it's not.  It's about 9/11.  Victims of mesothelioma for reasons other than 9/11 cannot access this fund.  Again, legislation has been presented to create a fund for all asbestos victims-- the Federal Asbestos Injury Resolution Act-- but it has not passed.  As I see it, the funding for this 9/11 bill comes out of funds that could be spent on other, fairer, more worthy bills like this one.  

                That's why I find the actions of the 9/11 responders cringeworthy.  They advocate for a special fund just for themselves, rather than working for more general, fairer legislation.    The 9/11 victims already have available to them all the possibilities of recompense that other asbestos victims have, and then some.  If we are going to spend federal money to compensate victims of asbestos exposure, we need to do it for all Americans in a fair way.  This bill does not meet that standard.

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