Archive for the ‘First Responders’ Category
WASHINGTON – The outgoing Bush administration appears to be working “covertly” on a contract that would strip the 9/11 health and treatment program from the FDNY and Mount Sinai Medical Center, sources told the Daily News.
The plan, which sources say is being batted around within the Department of Health and Human Services, would yank all Sept. 11-related monitoring and care from the city and put it in the hands of of one company – likely based outside the city.
A new contract could potentially force 9/11 patients pay up front for services, and then be reimbursed. Currently, the tab is covered.
More than 50,000 people are enrolled in the city-based health and monitoring program, open to those exposed to Ground Zero. About 16,000 participants are actively receiving treatment.
Some 4,000 people are enrolled in a national version.
“The department is not working on a solicitation of this type and this allegation is untrue,” HHS spokeswoman Christina Pearson insisted.
Nevertheless, a source told The News officials within the department “have not liked this program from the beginning.”
“They are ideologues, and they could stick the Obama administration with this contract. At best, it’s disruptive,” the source added.
A spokesman for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, which administers the 9/11 programs, said the contract for treating ill Americans outside of the tri-state area would end in the summer – but could not say if there were any plans for the city programs.
“What they want to do is broaden that national contract, and put everyone in there,” a source with New York ties said, adding that federal officials appear to be trying to bid out the new program before Barack Obama takes office.
The source said New York legislators learned of the impending move after a potential contractor called them, hoping to get help preparing a bid.
That prompted Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler (D- Manhattan) to fire off a angry letter Thursday demanding an explanation for the secret moves after officials had promised to keep them in the loop.
“Last week, we were dismayed to hear of a new solicitation about to be issued by your department that would apparently replace all current arrangements,” says the letter addressed to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt and obtained by the News.
“This information on the new solicitation concerned us not only with regard to the potential damage to the current program,” the letter went on, “but also regarding the apparent attempt to covertly announce this contract solicitation in the last days of the Bush administration.”
Maloney and Nadler gave the secretary three days to respond.
“We just received this letter today and immediately called their offices to say these allegations are unfounded,” Pearson said.
$700,000,000,000 to save the butts of people who intentionally cheated for profit – and a bill to provide long-term health care to 9/11 First Responders who are ill. These people tried to SAVE LIVES and are dying as a result. Priorities need to be reassessed.
BY OREN YANIV
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Congress Sunday shelved a $10.9 billion bill to provide health care and compensation for Ground Zero workers, at least in part due to opposition from Mayor Bloomberg.
The House of Representatives failed to vote on the bill after City Hall objected to a provision that would have required the city to pay 10% of the cost of a long-term Sept. 11 health program.
The total cost would have been $5.1 billion for a 10-year program that would have provided health care to those sick from working amid toxic World Trade Center debris. The city’s share was to be $500 million.
The bill also would have reopened the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, adding an estimated $6 billion for those who became sick after working amid the debris.
John Feal, a 9/11 responder and founder of the FealGood Foundation, went to Washington in a failed push for the bill.
“The mayor pretty much squashed the bill on us,” a disappointed Feal said last night. “We should do right by these people who are sick and dying.”
Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan), Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), Vito Fossella (R-S.I.) and Pete King (R-L.I.) said the New York delegation would reintroduce another bipartisan bill next year.
“We will work together to meet the sizable need to care for those who lived and worked in the immediate area around Ground Zero – not to mention those who helped in the immediate aftermath,” the lawmakers said in a statement.
Supporters had hoped the House would vote on the package over the weekend, but time and support ran out amid intense congressional negotiations over the $700 billion financial bailout package.
The Senate would likely not have had time to pass the bill anyway, but backers said House passage would have helped move the measure forward.
Bloomberg spokesman Jason Post said the Sept. 11 health bill was “a step backward” and said “it put an undue burden on city taxpayers.” He noted the bill would raise fivefold the city’s annual tab for 9/11 programs.
Other city officials said the feds should pay the full cost as a matter of principle because Sept. 11 was an attack on America.
Denis Hughes, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, countered that the bill was doomed by “shortsighted” thinking at City Hall.
“What really sunk this was the mayor’s opposition,” Hughes said. “I think they miscalculated.”
9/11 First Responder and star of “SAVE THE BRAVE” Greg Quibell lost his fight with the illness he contracted while trying to save lives at Ground Zero nearly 7 years ago.
On 9/11/01, as many as 100,000 brave men and women like Mr. Quibell were exposed to a toxic mixture of pulverized glass and concrete, asbestos, lead, and burning jet fuel. The exposure was made that much worse by the EPA’s announcement that the environment was safe. Doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City estimate that 70% of the firefighters, police officers, emergency medical crews, construction workers, utility workers and volunteers suffered lung and other serious health problems.
Nearly 7 years later, most of us have moved on with our lives. These men and women, however, are reminded every day. Not only is there no guaranteed long term comprehensive medical treatment program but the Bush administration consistently has delayed and cold-heartedly blocked efforts and cut funding for Sept. 11-related health care.
Please join us by holding Mr. Quibell’s family and friends in your hearts – and take just a few moments of your time to let the people who represent YOU in Washington know that you haven’t forgotten the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans. Tell them that something needs to be done by them, in YOUR NAME, to help the 9/11 First Responders NOW.
From The Fealgood Foundation –
*****UPDATE 8/28/08***** We learned late last night that Greg Quibell, star of SAVE THE BRAVE lost his heroic battle. Please see our post “First Responder Greg Quibell Dies of 9/11 Illness”.
RESPONDERS DOCUMENTARY SHOWS AFFECTS OF 9/11 SEVEN YEARS LATER
“SAVE THE BRAVE” TELLS STORY OF DIGNITY, COURAGE, SUFFERING
SON SALUTES SICK DAD WITH GRAND SLAM TO WIN BALLGAME
August 4, 2008, New York City- The Fealgood Foundation is producing SAVE THE BRAVE a documentary made and produced by 911 responders to inform the nation of the intense suffering 911 responders and their families are experiencing. The single focus of the documentary is passage of the 911 Health & Compensation Bill named for James Zadroga, the police officer who perished as the result of his illness contracted from service at Ground Zero. Hundreds of 911 Responders have died of illness contracted from Ground Zero.
John Feal, founder of the Fealgood Foundation comments, “If all of America understood what the men and women who rushed to save lives and retrieve remains for grieving family members are going through on a daily basis they would be shocked. As New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler says in SAVE THE BRAVE, “it’s a moral outrage”.
The Fealgood Foundation is reaching out to Americans urging them to see that the 911 Health & Compensation Bill is passed in Congress so that Responders have access to much needed medical care, medicines and disability compensation to allow their families to thrive.
The Fealgood Foundation assigned the production of SAVE THE BRAVE to another 911 Responder, Reverend Bill Minson. Minson served as a Red Cross and Salvation Army chaplain, he has continued to provide spiritual care through his TUDAY Ministries, his all voluntary service began Sept. 13, 2001. Rev. Minson also narrates the documentary with noted artist and videographer Robert Agriopoulos directing.
John Feal continues, “With Responders across the country suffering we don’t want one to be without support. We’re praying that Jim Ritchie, John McNamara, Greg Quibell and Charlie Giles, the subjects of our documentary, will all be with us when our documentary debuts later this month. Please let me share a touching email with you from Greg Quibell’s family yesterday as he fights for his life at North Shore University hospital”.
“Today Theresa’s son Nick came up to the plate with 3 men on base in his little league game. With that his coach approached him and said Nick a hit brings home 2 runs, they were trailing by 1. Nick replied to the coach in front of everyone in the stands to hear, hey coach how about one hit brings home 4 runs. The coach laughed and then Nick said, ‘this one is for my dad in the hospital’. Well Nick hit a grand slam over the 220 ft. fence and cleared it by 30 feet. Everyone who heard him say that and then do it started to cry. Nick then went to the hospital and brought Greg the home run ball. You just cant make that up, and if it doesn’t make you cry or feel the love and pain this family is going through, then your not human. Theresa thank you for this story and for a good cry”, concludes 911 Responder, John Feal.
SAVE THE BRAVE http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=franniebird&p=r
For additional information please contact Anne Marie Baumen at the Fealgood Foundation
Anne Marie Baumen
516.551.0986 / 631.724.3320