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-Scott Rohter, 2008

The Victims of 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, James Zadroga – The Real Scoop Behind It
By Scott Rohter, December 2010

The original bill set aside 8 billion dollars for compensation to the real heroes of 9/11, our dedicated police, firefighters, and emergency personnel. Much of it however, would have never gone to those who have fallen ill, who sacrificed so honorably on that fateful day and afterwards, in order to pay for their medical care. Instead, much of it would have wound up in the pockets of trial lawyers, were it not for the heroic efforts of Senator Dr. Tom Coburn, R., Oklahoma, who steadfastly refused to allow the Democrat sponsored bill to move forward without amendments. He forced the Dems to include a provision that limits trial lawyers fees to 10%. Apparently the authors of the bill hadn’t thought about that, or cared whether all of this money that they are doling out winds up in the hands of trial lawyers. (Note: The Trial Lawyers Association is a huge Democrat special interest group.) I guess from the perspective of those who wrote the bill (Democrat lawyers), it didn’t really matter whether the funds actually wound up helping the surviving heroes of 911 or wound up in the pockets of Democrat trial lawyers. According to them, it’s all good and either way it’s certainly much better than remaining in the hands of American tax payers!

Through the persistent efforts of Senator Coburn and other Republicans, the bill was also improved in other ways.  They successfully eliminated much of the potential for “double dipping,” in other words, being twice compensated for the same illness or injury. If you are already receiving compensation for your illness or injury from your union or another source, then you are not eligible to collect for the same illness or injury from this fund. That’s perfectly logical and still compassionate! Through efforts like these, Senator Coburn led the way to passage of this bill and in the process got it pared down from 8 billion dollars to a little over 4 billion dollars and yet NOT ONE CENT was taken away from the deserving heroes of 9/11.

Analysis: The amazing thing to me is that the “Democrat controlled mainstream media” always gets away with the same thing! They always  get away with telling only one half of the story, one that almost never portrays Democrats in a bad light. They portray Republicans as mean spirited and uncompassionate because they opposed instant passage of the bill as it was originally written, but they didn’t point out that the original bill was rife with the potential for fraud and abuse, and it was written to funnel as much as 1/3 of the money, almost 3 billion dollars, to trial lawyers, one of the Democrat's biggest constituencies! They didn’t point out the potential in the bill for double dipping, or the lack of safeguards to ensure against this kind of abuse! They didn’t point out that Republicans weren’t objecting to compensating the actual heroes of 9/11 at all!  Instead they were only objecting to the poor way that the bill was written, which allowed too much leeway for possible abuse and corruption. Their concerns were perfectly valid and reasonable, but the media didn't point that out and they didn't criticize their beloved Democratic Party for the poor way in which the bill was written. They almost never hold the Democrats accountable for anything! They just say that Republicans are bad.

All that the Republicans wanted to do, and succeeded in doing, was to tighten up the bill a little bit, to eliminate some of the potential for fraud and abuse, and to make sure that most of the money actually got to the intended recipients, the actual heroes of 9/11, not their lawyers. In other words, the Republicans were just trying to be good financial stewards of the tax payer’s money! Wow, what a novel idea!

"The truth, the political truth, and nothing but the political truth.
A journalist has no better friend than the truth."
- Scott Rohter

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