Cyrus Dugger

Why the Challenges Faced by Ground Zero Workers Affect Us All: An Overview

For those who have been with us since the beginning of Tort Deform, you have heard us talk about how the challenges faced by the Ground Zero workers are in many ways emblematic of all those seeking justice in our nations’ courts and administrative bureaucracies. Hopefully, those readers who have recently joined have also been exposed to this narrative.

The issue of funding for sick Ground Zero Workers has reached a high point in publicity thanks to the efforts of Ceasar Borja Jr. Ceasar’s father was a NYC police officer for 20 years who died of a Ground Zero related illness hours before his son attended the State of the Union address in order to bring increased attention to the suffering and neglect of Ground Zero workers and responders.

In large part because of Borja’s efforts, Bush recently agreed to fund $25 million dollars in additional funding for the treatment of Ground Zero workers and first responders. However, this funding is only enough to extend treatment and screening until the end of the year.

In contrast, Mt Sinai Hospital, the institution currently charged with the primary screening and treatment of Ground Zero workers and first responders, has estimated that full treatment will cost $250 million dollars a year, each year, for the foreseeable future.

As a point of comparison, the amount Bush pledged to help our nation’s sick and dying heroes is just a few million more than the approximately $22 million the last 60 minutes of the war in Iraq has cost.

Talk about ironic priorities. We’re in Iraq because the President falsely tied Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks to Saddam Hussein, and argued that taking down the regime would make American safer from terrorism. And yet, the ongoing effects on our nation’s sick heroes and victims of the 9/11 attacks that we mistakenly went to Iraq to respond to, gets just about the same amount of funding of as just an hour fruitlessly fighting in the midst of a civil war we have helped bring about in Iraq.

I will be writing and updating our previous materials linking Ground Zero workers’ challenges to a larger critique of the tort “reform” movement, but I wanted to take a moment to give an overview of all that has already been written. As I have re-read the material from my first post on this issue in September, to this most recent post of today, it is striking and depressing how little the narrative has really changed.

More discussion is to come on this issue in the following days, but for now, here’s the complete list in chronological order with links to all of the previous commentary on the link between the challenges faced by Ground Zero Workers and the challenges all Americans increasingly face in accessing justice in our nations courts and through our nation’s administrative agencies. I also included my Tom Paine op-ed at the beginning of the list as well.

The Next Victims Of 9/11, Tom Paine

Devalued Suffering & The Problematic Aspects Of the 9/11 Victim Compensation

Why the Challenges Faced by 9/11 Workers Affect Us All

9/11 & The Safety Is Too Expensive Business Model

More Details on the EPA & 9/11

Congress Rejects Aid For Sick 9/11 Responders: Puts Financial Safety Over Human Safety

9/11 Financial Safety Over Human Safety Narrative Continues

The EPA Continues to Endanger Our Safety

Federal and NYC Governments Make It as Hard As Possible for 9/11 Victims

The Political Fallout of the Financial Security Over Human Security Business Model

A Burden of Proof – For Heroes?

9/11 Ground Zero School Victims: More Evidence of the Profits Over Safety Business Model

9/11 Ground Zero Worker Lawsuit Moves Forward & The Profits Over Safety Business Model Continues

9/11 Ground Zero Worker Lawsuit Moves Forward & The Profits Over Safety Business Model Continues

Judge stands up for WTC heroes - mayor must, too

When Will NYC Stop Fighting Heroes' Claims & Benefits?

A Public Service Announcement For Ground Zero Workers

Ground Zero Workers Abandoned Once Again

The “Safety is Too Expensive Business Model:” Your NYC Homes, Offices & Schools

A Fair Deal for 9/11’s Injured?

Shutting the Doors on Our 9/11 Heroes

Public Service Announcement For 9/11 Workers and Volunteers Who Did Rescue, Recovery or Cleanup Work

Ground Zero ‘Clean-up’ Plan ‘Designed to Find Nothing’

City Fails Our Nation's Heroes Once Again

"9/11 Did Not End That Day"

Son Of Dead 9/11 Cop Asking To Meet With President

Cop's son urges Bush to boost 9/11 benefits

Son of Late Ground Zero Worker Makes Health-Care Plea

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Feb 01, 2007 in
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