Action Alert: Call Congress to Support the 9/11 Responders

When the towers fell on September 11, 2001, more than 50,000 people responded to the call to action to help with recovery at the World Trade Center. 8 years later, these same heroes feel great betrayal as more are dying from 9/11 related injuries and illnesses without proper health care or financial security.

A recent article in the New York Post cited more than 800 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers have died since 9/11 — and cancer has killed at least 270 people (data is still being collected and the number is likely much higher).

9/11 responders have been plagued with respiratory problems, cancer, financial, and emotional problems, while 90% of 9/11 responders don’t have proper medical care.

Responders are still being turned down for benefits, despite the mounting evidence that they were exposed to unsafe conditions during the recovery process.

“Many responders and their families and friends feel betrayed by Congress and are appalled by the callous indifference, lack of support and meager financial resources provided by the US government,” says Steve Centore, author of One of Them.

As all Americans who face a health care crisis whether insured or not, the 9/11 responders are at higher risk of foreclosures and bankruptcies.

“Once we are unable to work, we lose our health care and so does our family thus placing us into catastrophically financial ruin which no one can return from. If the heroes from 9/11 after saving thousands of lives are placed at the bottom of society and left to die, so can any citizen,” says Reggie Cervantes, 9/11 responder featured in Michael Moore’s film, SiCKO.

We need to remember those who died and those who are dying as a result of contamination at the World Trade Center. The best way to guarantee immediate help to the 9/11 responders and to ensure that no one is ever faced with such neglect after making great sacrifices for this county is to implement a national single-payer health care system. We are all together in the same boat. It shouldn’t take devastation on the magnitude of 9/11 to remind us that the only way a health care system can work is if everybody is in, and nobody is left out.

Please make your call today for single-payer health care reform and say:

1) Support Congressman Weiner’s single-payer amendment
2) Retain Congressman Kucinich’s amendment for state single-payer options in HR 3200
3) Support S. 703

All you have to do is go here, even if you don’t know your Rep. Fill out your address and phone number, you will receive a call script, then you will be connected to your Rep. FREE of charge.

In peace and health,
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff
The Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care


  1. Nancy on September 11, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Single payer is the only way to cover everybody and reduce health care costs by eliminating wasteful administrative overhead and by returning choice of physician to Americans. The plight of the 9/11 responders is a disgrace to our country and an obvious criticism of market-driven health care. When only profit matters, people suffer. Health care is a public good, a resource. People don’t shop for doctors or for hospitals or for bandages. When people are sick, they take what they can get.

    Please support Congressman Weiner’s single-payer amendment.
    Please retain Congressman Kucinich’s amendment for state single-payer options in HR 3200
    Please support S. 703

  2. Greg on September 11, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    This is precisely why a single payor (Government Run) healh insurance option is not the answer. These are government workers who can’t even get coverage from state funded insurance plans specifically designed for government workers. Imagine if all Americans had to deal with the same bureaucracy to fight for healthcare. Has anyone tried to sue the government lately for anything. Forget about it!

    Greg Iannuccilli

    • Dawn on September 12, 2009 at 2:13 am

      I don’t think all of them were actual government workers. They were responders that the government told would be taken care of, but now are not being taken care of. The article clearly indicates a quote from a responder that was in Michael Moore’s film Sicko. She was not a government employee, she was a volunteer!

    • Shauntay Larkins on September 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm

      @ Greg: Correction: all “responders” that assisted in the clean up of 9/11 were NOT gov’t workers. Some were independent contractors or skilled laborers across industries i.e. iron workers. MANY were illegal aliens that worked along side Americans.

      So this tragedy impacted the health of many people certainly without gov’t health insurance and many more without ANY health insurance.

  3. Erin Bliss on September 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I don’t know why anyone would be surprised by the lack of attention to the survivors and the rescue crews health issues. We don’t treat our returning damaged soldiers any better, do we? This isn’t anything new. This has gone on for decades. Probably a couple centuries.
    The thing that would shock me is if our country actually started to take care of these people in the right manner. I would probably need medical care if that happened.

  4. Marilyn Grounds on September 11, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I am self-employed; I have had health insurance and each time wheather or not I have had any major health problem they always go up on the premiums. Last time they were going up to $ 809.00 per month, that is just for myself. I am 61 years old in good health for now, and I need insurance, but can not afford it. We are going to have to do something toward a government option. A non-profit government insurance that answers to is insured clients, and not to its stock holders.

  5. Cynthia on September 12, 2009 at 9:32 am

    The truth is that people right now don’t have options. No entire nation would be under the same insurance company…it’s an option for those who are not being taken care of by the private sector. For those who have Aetna and Blue Cross Blue shield and are still not being taken care of. Not just gov’t. workers. It’s insurance companies as a whole. Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are making record profits while drowning Americans who can’t get a good job these days…let alone afford over priced health care. What is the other option “business as usual”? Only people getting rich off of the current system (congressmen and women) are fighting against reform.

  6. tonyreed on September 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    National Health Care NOW. Single payer being the ultimate goal, let’s make the change we can make today. The US ranks somewhere in the 40s in infant mortality and we spend about 7,000 ea/yr – we don’t get much health care in exchange. Insurance companies have no heart, no conscience- the public option is the only way they’ll ever shape up. Rent Sicko. Write and call your representatives. Talk about your experiences with health insurers and drug prices. We’ll get it done in the next few months. Public Option National Health Care NOW.

  7. Lois on September 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Single Payer Health Care, or in other words, Medicare for All, is the only option that will fix the broken health care system in the United States. The fact that Obama is vacillating on the limited public option he is toting is frightening as is the idea of forcing people to “buy” heath insurance. I voted for Obama for many reasons, but one was that he did not want to force people to buy health care insurance and Hillary did. That is what happened in Michigan with car insurance, they start out saying it won’t cost very much and then soon the insurance companies jack up the prices and people can’t afford insurance, so they drive without and hope they don’t get caught. We need to demand single payer health care now!

  8. Stephanie on September 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    When I first learned of America not having national health care I was suprised and then I saw Michael Moore’s films and the truth of how badly people are treated when they can’t afford to pay their hospital bills shocks and greatly insults me and many other people around the world. I have always admired America eversince I was a young girl, but now that admiration has dwindled greatly. I can’t stand the people being so carelessly pushed aside for power hungry and greedy rich people who take advantage of the common people by withholding the people their right to be able to get free health care and be treated the right way. It’s outrageous and inhumane. Nobody deserves to be treated like trash just because they can’t pay their (outrageously) expensive hospital bills when the care the insured people do receice is pathetically bad for the amount og money the people have to pay.

    To hear of the American Congress refusing to help all those volunteers that helped at 9/11 is outrageous, cold and it breaks my heart to see how such good and amazing people who helped in spite of danger for their own health being tossed aside like yesterday’s trash after all the heroic and great things they did to help after 9/11 happened. I feel disappointed, hurt and above all betrayed by what is supposed to be a country of great good and amazing kindness that I have at times personally seen only for it to be ruined by the image of greedy men and woman who think it’s not their problem what happens to all those volunteers of 9/11.

    As of today I will never support nor respect any American health insurance company or anybody in the Congres and US government until there will be a national health care system, the kind that the American heroes of 9/11, the war and the common people all deserve to have.

  9. Tabita on August 4, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I think all 911 first responders should be given healthcare benefits for life through the VA. 911 was an act of war and all men and women who responded that day and are experiencing health issues, should be treated as Veterans and given the same health treatment as our American Veterans. They volunteered to risk their lives to protect and save people they didn’t even know. I give them all the utmost respect and every day that goes by without taking care of our own, results in more suffering and loss of life. We as American’s should be ashamed that we are not taking care of our Heroes.