Friday, July 29, 2011

Jon Stewart slams watered-down 9/11 Health Care Bill

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This must be a running theme. Every time you think Congress has finally accomplished something halfway decent, they still manage to fuck it up through sheer incompetence at some point afterwards. At the end of 2010, it seemed that Congress had finally gotten its act together and passed the Zadroga “9/11 Health Care” Bill to provide free healthcare services for the first responders who fell ill after sifting for survivors through the fuming mess of toxic rubble at Ground Zero. This was, of course, majoritarily thanks to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for his tireless campaign in support of the bill when it had become clear that demagogues left and right were doing their best to screw it up.

Well, wouldn’t you know it

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

JON STEWART: Remember this bill?


ANCHOR: A deal has been reached in the Senate to pass a 9/11 Health Care bill. The legislation will provide free medical care to first responders who are suffering health problems after working at Ground Zero.


STEWART: It took nine years of committed legislators working tirelessly with first responder advocates – some of them sadly passing away before the bill’s signing – to bring much-needed relief to those who gave so much down at Ground Zero. [jokey air] Funny story. As it turns out, as part of a political compromise to get the bill passed, the bill does not cover cancer treatment!

Which brings us to our new segment: I Thought We Already Took Care of This S@#t.

How did we not include cancer? The bill does cover coughing, laryngitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, but not cancer. “You get scurvy, no problemo. These limes are on us. But the one disease that you seem to disproportionately be getting? Yeah, we can’t help you there.” Is this gonna be fixed?


FOX NEWS’S RICK LEVENTHAL: The administrator said that they will continue to do periodic reviews for cancer as new research and findings are released.

CNN ANCHOR: If and when scientists can prove a link between 9/11 and the cancers, then they will be covered by the fund.


STEWART: [incredulous] “Prove the link”? “Sir, clearly, you have cancer. And clearly, you spent a heroic amount of time sifting through a smoldering smorgasbord of carcinogens in search of your own loved ones and colleagues, and the loved ones and colleagues of others. But how do I know your cancer isn’t from dental X-rays and red M&Ms? [audience laughter] So, if you just give me 20 years, I think we’ll be able to have some statistics that [gibberish].”

You know what? I have an idea about this. WHO GIVES A [bleep]? [audience cheers] The worst case scenario, here, is we accidentally treated a 9/11 responder’s cancer, even though his cancer may not be proven to have its genesis on 9/11. How ’bout everyone who worked down there on The Pile gets a pass on the exact origin of their personal tumors?

So, if you’re someone who spent time on The Pile, I don’t care if you ate 200 Sweet’N Low packets a day, sprinkle on your favorite cereal, TumorOs, while wearing a cellphone suit and smoking Chernobyl Lites unfiltered, while making regular stops to your regular snack joint, Agent Orange Julius. You get cancer, we cover it!

Damn straight. It’s always curious to see how misaligned Congress is with the rest of the people.