The Truth About The First Responders Bill

To all of you busy with Christmas stuff (as I am), here is the “spin” on the First Responders Bill now being debated in Congress.

Democrats care. Republicans don’t.

How dare you question a bill that gives medical care to our first responders of 9-11! It’s easy to be a Democrat, isn’t it? Being compassionate by spending other people’s money is so heartfelt, isn’t it? But looking beneath the spin, we know the real problem. Republicans aren’t against the bill. They just want it to be fiscally sound and not rip off the taxpayers and give a big bounty to the Trial Lawyers.

John Derbyshire opens up this pretty Christmas package, to the truth that lies in the box:

Yet more news from our nation’s legislature. Another trial lawyers’ scam against the public fisc, in fact. It sometimes seems as though the entire business of Washington, D.C. consists of lawyers looting the Treasury. Here they are at it again.

This is the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, advertised as, quote, “giving federal medical benefits to first-responders sick from Ground Zero dust.”

Who could be against that?? It’s like being against puppies and kittens. This is how the Democrats constantly pass irresponsible legislation that ends up mired in fraud and waste at the tax payer’s expense. They pat themselves on the back for being so compassionate with our money, while the grownups (the Republicans) try to make everyone understand the truth.

Once the Trial Lawyers Association see a big pile of taxpayer gold glittering on the horizon, though, there is no stopping them:

Now look: We should all be grateful to those first responders who showed up at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Flight 93 crash site. Face this fact, though: We live in a nation where any widespread sympathetic emotion will be milked for cold cash by unscrupulous attorneys. These first responders all belong to well-funded public-sector unions with extravagant benefit packages. There are people here in New York City retired on disability from the Fire Department, nothing to do with 9/11, pulling down $200,000 retirement packages in their fities, with full medical coverage on top. Nobody’s going short of anything here. The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund added cream on the pie, as James Zadroga’s own case illustrates.

The James Zadroga Act is a trial lawyer’s scam, just like the Pigford rackets. Oh, would you like to know how many people will get payouts from the James Zadroga Act? Answer: at least 71,000. You didn’t know there were that many first responders, did you? That’s a major-league baseball stadium full of first responders, all with their hands out. Twenty-four of them are from Wyoming, which is a long way from Ground Zero. We know this because we heard it from Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming, who has been leading opposition to this shameful scheme.

That’s quite a different story than the spin, isn’t it?

Charles Krauthammer adds more common sense:

It’s not a question of cost, it’s a question of the absence of hearings, the absence of oversight, and also the absence of scientific evidence conclusively showing a link between the illnesses and the activity at the 9/11 site.

Because we all know from the fraud and waste that comes with every goodie bag the government gives out, there are the con men that get in line for the money. It’s quite easy to do that when Congress just throws the money out there with little oversight or responsibility. But why should Democrats care about that? It’s not their money. They just get to look like the good guys, shore up the votes to stay in power, and not care what this spending does to our country.

If America wants to say you are heroes, we want to recognize your service, and we are grateful, and as a result we’re going to generously offer you health care for the rest of your lives, that’s one thing. But this bill is called compensation, which assumes that we have scientific evidence of the relationship between the illness and the activity, which has not been established.

So if you want to do it as a gift, a grateful nation says you can have this as a result of your service, perhaps. But compensation, we don’t know if there is a relationship.

In other words, if we want to pay for the medical bills for first responders for the rest of their lives, let’s do it. But let’s not open a door where trial lawyers line their pockets with our money.

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