Healthcare for Sept. 11 Workers?

A new autopsy attributing a 34-year-old New York police detective's death this year to exposure to toxic Sept. 11 dust should spur the government to do more for sick ground zero workers, lawmakers said Wednesday.

The federal official charged with overseeing the government's Sept. 11 health programs will examine the autopsy report and plans to meet again with the lawmakers to discuss the matter, a spokesman said. Read more.

Should the government be doing more for those who became sick after working at ground zero?

E-mail us at and let us know what YOU think!

Here's what people in the news are saying:

"It is truly sad that four and a half years after 9/11 the federal government still does not have a comprehensive plan to treat those who are suffering." — Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-Manhattan

"It is felt with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the cause of death in this case was directly related to the 9/11 incident." — Gerard Breton, a pathologist at the Ocean County (N.J.) medical examiner's office

Here's what FOX Fans are saying:

“Give us a break! I am sure all the unions and workers had healthcare on the job. There were workers who refused to leave the job site.” — L.A. (Oregon)

"How long did it take for the government to own up and acknowledge the use and exposure of Agent Orange on the troops? How long did it take for them to receive help? Well you can figure that this group will be waiting a lot longer. Any time the government feels someone else's hands in their pockets they tighten up." — Jim (Halifax, Canada)

“Those individuals who, day in and day out, are fighting the effects of their own local ground zero should be cared for. Don't forget many of those who responded to ground zero during the month of 9/11 and Katrina came from fire and EMS departments outside New York and the New Orleans area. There should be a national plan to protect those who are asked to place themselves in harm’s way.” — Jim

“I believe those people that were working at ground zero were paid quite handsomely. People from western New York went there and made thousands of dollars per week. They stayed plenty of hours to make money and reap the benefits, and that comes with a price. I don't think we should pay extra for their health issues.” — Randy (Frewsburg, NY)

“There is only so much the federal government can do and the rest is up to the state government to complete. Unless the federal government has specific guidelines that limits the situation, and the degree of help, then perhaps they should be cared for.” — Wendy (London, KY)

“I think that they should get the best healthcare that they need.” — Christel (South Carolina)

“It was commented that the government provides healthcare and other benefits to illegal aliens in this country, which in my opinion is a big no-no! Yet, those dedicated citizens who work hard to protect us get shafted.” — Elaine (Nevada)

“Yes, they were our heroes at that time and should be treated as such now.” — Judy (Currituck, NC)

“As sorry as I feel for these individuals, a precedent cannot be set. Then, every time we have a terrorist attack (and there will be more) we will have to do the same for those people. Also, many of these individuals may already have health insurance that would kick in. The taxpayers should not be responsible for picking up the tab.” — R.L.

“Absolutely, it’s no different for any military person wounded or killed in the line of duty. They get compensation, and so should those who were involved in 9/11. It makes perfect sense to me.” — James (Richmond, MI)

“The workers who were there should have all the healthcare we can give them, as well as the service people who are protecting us. We give free healthcare to illegal aliens, but not our own citizens…go figure” — Geraldine

“The federal government should give some kind of compensation to those who were at ground zero and have become ill. It is known that a lot of the insulation in the World Trade Center contained asbestos. The government is quick to help people with the effects of all kinds of disasters, this should be no different.” — Suzanne (Gainesville, GA)

“Are you telling me that this subject was not discussed when officials were deciding financial distribution of 9/11 funds? Of course people were going to get sick afterwards. Thoroughness appears to be an ongoing problem with our government at all levels. Saving lives should be a higher priority than saving dollars.” — Gary (Bethel, MA)

“Yes, they should take care of all our citizens. After all, the government makes sure they have good health benefits and plenty of money in their pockets.” — Doris (Carpinteria, CA)

“Why would we have special care for just those select few? What about healthcare from the place of employment? The problems any of the individuals have would be a workman’s comp case.” — Gary (Fairborn, OH)

“While some assistance is warranted, such as treatment and counseling, all this talk of class action lawsuits and big money payouts is preposterous. Just because a horrible atrocity has been committed does not mean other people get rich. This ‘sue’ mentality has got to stop, it’s ruining this country. After all, where do all these people who want to be paid think the money comes from? If anything, these people should sue the country, or countries, where the terrorists came from before bleeding our government.” — Mark (South Carolina)

“No, it was a tragic event. However, tragedies happen to people everyday and the survivors have problems also. Does the government pay them thousands and thousands of dollars so that they can go on with their lives? I cry and grieve with those who have lost loved ones on 9/11, but I do not think the government has to give them money. What about soldiers who were killed? Their survivors are also suffering. Does the government pay them this kind of money?” — Reba (Aventura, FL)

“Oh please, enough is enough! I believe every one of these so called 'victims of 9/11' was covered by a healthcare plan long before the tragic incident took place and it should take care of whatever their true medical needs are. If they were not, they can make do like the rest of us. Heck, I was traumatized by what I saw on television. Perhaps I should be seeking government assistance with every malady I've had since then. Now that I think about it, why shouldn't every one of us be fully taken care of by our highly efficient and effective and money loaded government.” — Bill (Virginia)

“What, and risk some of the illegal immigrants losing their medical cards? We don't take care of the brave men and women who sacrificed their health during an attack against our country, but free medical care and all the other freebies are available to criminals who have sneaked into our country! Heads up, folks! Make sure your vote counts in each election…enough is enough.” — April (Illinois)

“I think in the extremely hazardous and deadly environment that these emergency workers and volunteers had to work in, it is only just and right that our government pick up or increase the aid (in health care of funding) to these folks. After all, part of the blame is on our government for not being able to foresee or react when such an attack on our soil occurred. So I say yes, our government should do everything in its power to aid these heroes in their time of need, as they did for the folks of New York and America in general during and after the attack.” — Thomas (Salt Lake City, UT)