Now that America's right-wing and their pals in Congress have finished their jack-off session about 9/11 and the amazing Americans who did so much to restore our country's hope in the aftermath of that attack on our sovereignty, now that the sperm has been wiped up off the floor of the Senate bathroom, and the pornographic pictures of President Bush and Mayor Giuliani humping Ground Zero have been folded up and filed away, and now that right-wing extremists have finished using 9/11 as a scare tactic to privatize more of our government security services, it's time to pay-off the poor suckers who did the dirty work: the first-responders who cared.
"They are heroes," declared every right-winger from the girl at the coffee shop, to the tea-party retiree, to the military hawk who never served a moment in the armed services, to the born-again Christian in Iowa who was so deeply hurt by the attack on the World Trade Center, to the Fox News talking heads, to the elected officials from Alaska and Nevada and Arizona who wouldn't know Greenwich Street from from Vesey Street from Liberty Street, and sadly to some actual New Yorkers who fly a flag of liberty for themselves as long as they don't have to pay any taxes. Yes, these brave first responders were the real Americans on September 12, 2001, and we are going to take care of them.
In 2006, New York City police officer James Zadroga died of respiratory illness that was attributed to his participation in rescue operations in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Less than five years after the WTC clean-up began, it became clear to non-conservative Americans that the people at and near that site who breathed-in the dust from the rubble were exposed to toxins that would likely compromise their health. Forever. On the other hand, "conservatives" aren't so convinced that first-responders are suffering long-term health problems as a result of their volunteerism.
"We must do something for them!" The same people who declared they were heroes shouted!
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced bills in their respective halls of Congress. It eventually passed the House in September 2010. In a Senate vote held in December, 2010, a Republican filibuster against the bill was eventually stopped but failed to get the sixty votes needed for the bill to proceed to an up-or-down vote. You see, the patriotic Republicans who'd won election after election on the back of 9/11 said that they would block any medical relief bill for 9/11 first responders unless tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 were ensured.
Now, that's patriotism! That's showing love and concern for the first-responders: they can get health care as long as the top 5% of the population can have a tax cut. Maybe. Give us the tax-cuts and then we'll see.
Eventually, Congress managed to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
It doesn't cover cancer treatment.
You see, there is no proof that first-responders are liable to get cancer, so we better not cover cancer because we might help a first-responder who got cancer from bad diet, or from smoking, or from something other than the silica, talc, cellulose, calcium phosphate, and methacrylate plastic, etc., he breathed at Ground Zero, trying to save the lives of those who perished.
Nice job, Congress!
We seem to have protected those tax cuts for the top 5% of American citizens, but we can't figure out how to pay the medical bills for first-responders who get cancer.
You see, this is America: the only people who deserve health care are those who can afford it; and just because you risked your life digging holes trying to find cops and firefighters and fellow citizens buried in rubble on the days following a gruesome crime committed against our nation, that doesn't mean you deserve anything.
You're a fucking hero, now shut the fuck up, get back to work and vote "conservative" (they'll protect you from the fags, niggers and abortionists - the real problems in your life). And, sadly, many first-responders will vote "conservative."