Foresaken (photo: Fernando Valentin)

The law passed last year to provide health care to 9/11 responders will not pay for the treatment of cancer, according to a recent decision by the World Trade Center Health Program. From CNN:

Workers who were involved in the response to the World Trade Center attack will not have their cancer treatments compensated under a program set up after September 11, according to a controversial decision released Tuesday by the World Trade Center Health Program.

There is inadequate “published scientific and medical findings” that a causal link exists between September 11 exposures and the occurrence of cancer in responders and survivors, program Administrator John Howard said in a statement.

God forbid we as a country might err on the side of helping a few people in need.

What is the worse thing that could happen if the program did cover cancer? There would be a chance that a few “lucky” individuals, who might have developed rare cancers anyway, would avoid medical bankruptcy because they happened to selflessly volunteer in the 9/11 rescue mission.

The sickest part about this is that this decision is a scientific catch-22. Never before have people been exposed to the complex mix of chemicals that resulted from the disaster. Before 9/11, there was no reason to study the effects of prolonged exposures to this toxic cocktail.

Now, the only scientific proof we will have that this exposure caused certain rare cancers is if we see very high rates of said cancers among the workers. The only way any 9/11 related cancers are going to be covered is if large numbers of workers, who are first denied help paying for their treatments, develop these cancers. Once enough workers suffer without, then we might have the scientific proof that they actually deserved help in the first place.  Hello Kafka.

Foresaken (photo: Fernando Valentin)

The law passed last year to provide health care to 9/11 responders will not pay for the treatment of cancer, according to a recent decision by the World Trade Center Health Program. From CNN:

Workers who were involved in the response to the World Trade Center attack will not have their cancer treatments compensated under a program set up after September 11, according to a controversial decision released Tuesday by the World Trade Center Health Program.

There is inadequate “published scientific and medical findings” that a causal link exists between September 11 exposures and the occurrence of cancer in responders and survivors, program Administrator John Howard said in a statement.

God forbid we as a country might err on the side of helping a few people in need.

What is the worse thing that could happen if the program did cover cancer? There would be a chance that a few “lucky” individuals, who might have developed rare cancers anyway, would avoid medical bankruptcy because they happened to selflessly volunteer in the 9/11 rescue mission.

The sickest part about this is that this decision is a scientific catch-22. Never before have people been exposed to the complex mix of chemicals that resulted from the disaster. Before 9/11, there was no reason to study the effects of prolonged exposures to this toxic cocktail.

Now, the only scientific proof we will have that this exposure caused certain rare cancers is if we see very high rates of said cancers among the workers. The only way any 9/11 related cancers are going to be covered is if large numbers of workers, who are first denied help paying for their treatments, develop these cancers. Once enough workers suffer without, then we might have the scientific proof that they actually deserved help in the first place. Hello Kafka.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com