Ill 9/11 First Responders and Broken U.S. Healthcare

The following interview conducted by Jon Stewart of four 9/11 first responders clearly exemplifies the health care crisis that so many working class Americans currently face or are at risk of facing. At about 3:55 in the clip, the panelists discuss the fact that they lost their health insurance coverage after they had to stop working as police officers, fire fighters, etc, due to severe illnesses they contracted as a result of working in the toxic dust at Ground Zero. After leaving the workforce, they had to fight their terminal diseases while fighting to get workman’s comp to pay for their expensive medical treatments. Although the clip focuses on the 9/11 First Responders Health Care Bill, the problem is the same for most Americans who lose their jobs after becoming seriously ill. Once the job is lost and the health insurance is dropped, what is severely ill person to do?

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About the author

I have been an active Latter-Day Saint all of my life and have also been an enthusiastic Democrat and progressive since my days as an economics undergraduate student at Brigham Young University. The hostile climate towards progressives at BYU inspired me to get involved with the BYU College Democrats, where I served as president during my senior year. I have since obtained a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma. I served a full-time mission to the Philippines. I’m active in my local ward, happily married and have two rambunctious little boys and an infant daughter.