Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Bush Plans to Put 9/11 Workers’ Care in Company Based Outside NY – Sick Would Pay Upfront

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 –

9/11 RESPONDER GREG QUIBELL DIES OF 9/11 ILLNESS URGING CONGRESS

TO PASS 9/11 HEALTH & COMPENSATION BILL BEFORE 9/11

August 27, 2008—New York, NY– Greg Quibell died tonight in Long Island, NY. Quibell stars in the documentary SAVE THE BRAVE, which premieres tomorrow night, Thursday August 28, 2008 at the Bellmore Theater, located at 222 Pettit Ave in Bellmore, Long Island, NY. At 7 pm. The premiere is dedicated to Quibell.

“We have lost another champion, another hero. Greg fought to the end and delivered a clear message to Congress”, comments Fealgood Foundation President, John Feal, “the Members of Congress cannot understand what these men and women are experiencing. Not only are those who served at Ground Zero suffering, sick and dying but families are devastated, putting children’s futures at risk. These heroes must have an America which takes care of, instead of forgets, its heroes. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Bill must be passed when Congress returns from recess so that this national disgrace can finally come to an end”.

The documentary focuses on four responders and what’s happened to them since their service as responders at Ground Zero following the attacks. FDNY Chief Jim Riches, Corrections officer Greg Quibell, EMS Charlie Giles and FDNY member John McNamara all share the intimate details of their Ground Zero experiences and consequences. In addition to sickness one couple in the film loses their home and now we suffer the loss of  Greg Quibell.

Members of Congress can expect to receive SAVE THE BRAVE, the DVD when they return from recess. Glen Klein, a Fealgood Foundation board member states, “we are going to put the honest truth about Ground Zero’s suffering heroes in their faces and hope that decency will prevail and they finally pass this legislation before another September 11th passes. All of us are wondering about cancers and other diseases that are showing up five, six, seven years later, what will our families face in the future”, concludes former ESU member of the NYPD, Klein.

9/11 family members Rosemary Cain, Bruce DeCell and Monica Iken speak out urging Congress to pass the legislation immediately. The movie was directed and produced by 9/11 Chaplain Rev. Bill Minson with Robert Agriopoulos Videos.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler who authored the legislation with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney appears in the documentary with colleagues Congressman Tim Bishop and Congresswoman Diane Watson of California who held a Congressional briefing in support of 9/11 responders two years ago.

For additional information please contact John Feal at 516-901-7427

*****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

www.fealgoodfoundation.org

From a reader –

“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon, before his murder by Mark David Chapman.

Please take the time to watch these videos – it’s what’s necessary for all of this to change.

Spread The Word

From a Say “When” supporter. Please remember – when you see photos of “the President” smiling with veterans…he’s at PRIVATE hospitals, not the VA hospitals that most returning injured veterans are sent to.

This letter from an Iraq War veteran’s wife was on Rosie’s blog today, Surely she would want to share it with all who will listen and take action with our do-nothing congress

Keep speaking the truth Ro.  Civilians have ZERO idea what its really like.  Walter Reed?  I’ve been there.  Its mold covered and they’re drastically understaffed.  Prescriptions Line?  It takes hours.  Active Duty gets to go first, but there are usually hundreds of veterans waiting in line waiting.  Veterans who gave their lives and some their sight, hearing, body for this country don’t get to get their pain medication in a timely period?  What is wrong with this system.  It’s not just Walter Reed, I’ve been to every military hospital in the DC area now, since we’re stationed at Andrews AFB.  Malcolm Grow, Bolling, and Walter Reed.  All are drastically understaffed and the prescription situation is the same.  It takes weeks to get an appointment.  They say to call just a couple days before the start of the month to fight for an appointment that month.  What if you’re sick?  Well you can try calling early in the morning but if its urgent make a trip to the ER where you get to wait with a bunch of other sick people for hours.  My son, who is one, was bleeding from the head and we weren’t seen for 3 hours.  3 hours!  You want to know what we see on a daily basis?  Med buses medivac sick wounded soldiers from the flight line at andrews afb to walter reed.  Those buses are generally filled and during the week I see at least 2 a day.  AT LEAST!  Thousands of men are coming home wounded and all we hear about are the dead.  Yes, we need to honor the dead, but people need to know how many are hurt and what their care is like.  I’ve seen those rooms at Walter Reed.  We stayed in one.  It looks like a time capsule.  Metal beds, slates of metal as mirrors, bathrooms so old the pipes creak whenever you turn on the water, mold, grit.  Its not clean.  It doesn’t smell like other hospitals, that clean sanitized smell.  It’s sick!  It’s sick.  For those veterans who need care after, and for us military families there are wonderful signs on the door of the family care offices.  They read “one issue per appointment please”.  That’s right.  Those people who fight for this country and us families left behind can only bring up one issue per appointment.  If more then one make another appointment which is IMPOSSIBLE to get.  Our hospitals are out of date and our doctors are deployed.  I see veterans every day at the commissary and the BX on the base where we live.  I’ve seen men burned so badly they’re unrecognizable as human.  I’ve seen men who recently found themselves blind.  I’ve seen families whose husbands gave their lives who can’t get a doctors appointment for a sick child and sit in the ER for hours.  It is not right.  Sure, we get “free” health care, but look at the price.  This is a disgrace.  Please keep speaking out Ro, no one else will.  We can’t have a voice or we risk the consequences.  We need a voice.  That man they call our president sits by and does nothing visiting privately funded hospitals. He gets to have all his appointments at National Naval Medical Center; which is REALLY nice, but impossible for the underlings to get into.  I don’t think he waits months for an appointment, hours for prescriptions, can only talk about one issue per appointment, and gets medical care in these conditions.  That’s whats wrong with this country.

By Paul Krugman

In 1960, John F. Kennedy, who had been shocked by the hunger he saw in West Virginia, made the fight against hunger a theme of his presidential campaign. After his election he created the modern food stamp program, which today helps millions of Americans get enough to eat.

But Ronald Reagan thought the issue of hunger in the world’s richest nation was nothing but a big joke. Here’s what Reagan said in his famous 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing,” which made him a national political figure: “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.”

Today’s leading conservatives are Reagan’s heirs. If you’re poor, if you don’t have health insurance, if you’re sick — well, they don’t think it’s a serious issue. In fact, they think it’s funny.

On Wednesday, President Bush vetoed legislation that would have expanded SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, providing health insurance to an estimated 3.8 million children who would otherwise lack coverage.

In anticipation of the veto, William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, had this to say: “First of all, whenever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it’s a good idea. I’m happy that the president’s willing to do something bad for the kids.” Heh-heh-heh.

Most conservatives are more careful than Mr. Kristol. They try to preserve the appearance that they really do care about those less fortunate than themselves. But the truth is that they aren’t bothered by the fact that almost 9 million children in America lack health insurance. They don’t think it’s a problem.

“I mean, people have access to health care in America,” said Mr. Bush in July. “After all, you just go to an emergency room.”

And on the day of the veto, Mr. Bush dismissed the whole issue of uninsured children as a media myth. Referring to Medicaid spending — which fails to reach many children — he declared that “when they say, well, poor children aren’t being covered in America, if that’s what you’re hearing on your TV screens, I’m telling you there’s $35.5 billion worth of reasons not to believe that.”

It’s not just the poor who find their travails belittled and mocked. The sick receive the same treatment.

Before the last election, the actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s and has become an advocate for stem cell research that might lead to a cure, made an ad in support of Claire McCaskill, the Democratic candidate for senator in Missouri. It was an effective ad, in part because Mr. Fox’s affliction was obvious.

And Rush Limbaugh — displaying the same style he exhibited in his recent claim that members of the military who oppose the Iraq war are “phony soldiers” and his later comparison of a wounded vet who criticized him for that remark to a suicide bomber — immediately accused Mr. Fox of faking it. “In this commercial, he is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He is moving all around and shaking. And it’s purely an act.” Heh-heh-heh.

Of course, minimizing and mocking the suffering of others is a natural strategy for political figures who advocate lower taxes on the rich and less help for the poor and unlucky. But I believe that the lack of empathy shown by Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Kristol, and, yes, Mr. Bush is genuine, not feigned.

Mark Crispin Miller, the author of “The Bush Dyslexicon,” once made a striking observation: All of the famous Bush malapropisms — “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family,” and so on — have involved occasions when Mr. Bush was trying to sound caring and compassionate.

By contrast, Mr. Bush is articulate and even grammatical when he talks about punishing people; that’s when he’s speaking from the heart. The only animation Bush showed during the flooding of New Orleans was when he declared “zero tolerance of people breaking the law,” even those breaking into abandoned stores in search of the food and water that they were not getting from his administration.

What’s happening, presumably, is that modern movement conservatism attracts a certain personality type. If you identify with the downtrodden, even a little, you don’t belong. If you think ridicule is an appropriate response to other peoples’ woes, you fit right in.

Republican disillusionment with Mr. Bush does not appear to signal any change in that regard. On the contrary, the leading candidates for the Republican nomination have gone out of their way to condemn “socialism,” which is GOP-speak for any attempt to help the less fortunate.

So once again, if you’re poor or you’re sick or you don’t have health insurance, remember this: These people think your problems are funny.

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

$190 Billion to fund the Iraq war for 1 more year.

$35 Billion over 5 years for health insurance for kids.

He chose – and it’s our kids who lost.