Nurses Welcome News of Help for 9/11 Responders
For Immediate Release
December 22, 2010
News of an agreement in the Senate to provide some help for first responders, volunteers, and others adversely affected by the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 was welcomed today by the nation’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses.
“While the settlement is less than what is fully needed to assure quality healthcare for those who sacrificed so much for all of us, it is an important beginning and welcome holiday news for the first responders and their families,” said Deborah Burger, RN, co-president of the 160,000 member National Nurses United.
“Those affected by the terrible events of September 11 deserve lifetime coverage for health problems associated with the terror attacks,” said Burger. “We hope Congress will make sure that this coverage does not lapse.”
But, the best protection for 9/11 responders, Burger added, “would be universal, guaranteed healthcare for all Americans. No family in this nation should worry about whether they will have access to medical care when and where they need it.”
She noted the recent report UNICEF report on inequality in child well-being released in early December which found that among the world’s 24 richest nations, the U.S. ranks just 23rd in material well-being and 22nd in health for our children. The U.S. lags behind even countries that have drawn international notice for economic and financial crises, including Greece, Iceland, and Ireland.
Inequality in healthcare, the report noted, “is principally driven by soci-economic status,” an indication, Burger said, that “with the income disparities continuing to grow in the U.S., the inequity in healthcare will continue to be a serious national problem.”
“In 2011, nurses will continue to fight for a more humane healthcare system that leaves no one, not our children, not our first responders, not any Americans behind,” Burger said.