Sunday, August 01, 2010

The immoral stupidity of our health care system

I want to call your attention to an article entitled "Nation Fails to Honor, Protect 9/11 Heroes Again" by Donna Smith (who is a community organizer for National Nurses United).

Here are a couple of snippets:

For nearly nine years the 9/11 rescue workers have labored to have access to healthcare to treat the injuries sustained when they worked at ground zero on September 11, 2001, when planes slammed into the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan. And the bill that would finally have granted those sick 9/11 rescue workers some help failed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
An estimated 10,000 workers who spent time working at the site are still suffering in the aftermath of that horrific day. If we had a single-payer, Medicare for all type health system in this nation, these brave rescue workers would have had and would still have access to care.

But because many became too ill to work following their 9/11 service and many lost their health insurance benefits as a result, many went without care at just those moments when it might have made the most difference.

Ruthless individualists that we are, our system forced thousands of rescue workers to prove their disabling conditions but left them broke and battered and without income or any benefits at all as they fought either workers compensation claims or Social Security appeals. We asked them to do this while they were ill. We sure treat heroes like less than heroes, eh? None of them ever asked to see who could pay with which plans when they raced in to the towers to help, did they?

What is wrong with us? Really?


  1. Extending Medicare benefits to all Americans would be the "public option" that I was hoping for when Congress adopted a healthcare reform act...the infrastructure is already in place.

  2. Yes, that is what I hoped for as well, Classof65. I guess it's just too obviously a good idea!

  3. That is remarkably shoddy. Quite apart from anything else you could say about it, including the level of grief and hardship it must have cost the rescue workers over the past decade, it totally encourages selfishness in a crisis.


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