Monday, December 20, 2010

A Note on the Zadroga Bill

Words are powerful and the choice of one word or phrase over another can significantly alter the general meaning of the entire work. Take, for example, the CNN article on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health Bill, "Bloomberg urges passage of 9/11 health bill:"

The bill has been in legislative limbo since Thursday, when Senate Democrats failed to win a procedural vote to open debate on it.

No sir. No sir. That is not how that should be worded. Senate Republicans voted against considering it. That is not "failing to win a procedureal vote to open debate." That is Senate Republicans voting against talking about it.

The New York Daily News views it differently ("Sen. John McCain rips Zadroga 9/11 health bill push as 'fooling around'," by Michael Mcauliff 12/18):

Democrats brought the 9/11 bill up once before. The GOP slapped it down unanimously, saying it wanted to extend tax cuts before doing anything else. With those cuts passed, Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring the Zadroga bill back.

One GOP senator has pledged support for the bill, and several others, including Maine's Susan Collins, have said they will back the bill - with conditions.

Still, there is little time left, and major changes could kill the bill as easily as a "no" vote.

Jon Stewart devoted an evening of the Daily Show to the Zadroga Bill. It's well worth the time to watch.

You can read more about the bill at Open Congress.

1 comment:

Gary Steadman said...

This bill is even more critical for those outside the ranks of NYC emergency responders. They do not benefit from the support NYC emergency responders have received (however inadequate) and a great many of them have medical conditions which were not diagnosed until deadlines on other support options were closed. There are thousands nationwide (my wife among them) who responded in the days, weeks and months following 9/11 and now suffer chronic and increasingly devastating health ailments. Without the support this bill would provide, these families face potentially insurmountable financial and emotional loads, a price they do not deserve.

If we do not support these individuals after they have gone in without hesitation to help when needed, where does that leave others who would be in the same situation. Would they second guess the wisdom of taking on such risks if the help they might need later might be pulled out from under them?

This short video, (What if we all behaved as our legislators do?) hits the nail on the head with this issue, turning it around a bit on those who are playing games with these responders lives. These political games are setting some bad precedent.