The next time a Republican senator appears on Fox News with a nice flag lapel and a mouthful of rhetoric about the “heroes of 9/11,” just remember that the G.O.P. likes to talk about heroes, but isn’t so keen on paying for their medical needs.
Senate Republicans voted as one the other day to block consideration of a bill that would have set aside more than $7 billion to monitor the health of 9/11 first responders and to pay for health problems that many have developed as a result of their brave work at ground zero during those terrifying days and weeks after the terrorist attacks downtown.
The legislation bears the name of a New York police officer, James Zadroga, who died in 2006 after developing a lung illness, most likely related to his work at the World Trade Center site. Other first responders have died, and still others have developed life-threatening and life-changing illnesses as a result of their selflessness and patriotism in 2001.
It should go without saying that these workers deserve not only our thanks but our resources as well. They should not lack for medical care any more, frankly, than our veterans should be deprived of the help they need when they are wounded in action.
Republicans apparently don’t feel this way. Or maybe they just don’t like New Yorkers.