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Reggie Cervantes

Reggie Cervantes is a 9/11 rescue worker featured in Michael Moore's "SiCKO."

September 29th, 2010 8:42 PM

A Good Day on Oxygen

9/11 heroes finally recognized by U.S. House of Representatives after losing 982

James Zadroga was a NYC detective who died from his 9/11 exposure. HR 847 is named after him and passed today in Congress to provide Health Care for sick 9/11 responders. 982 responders have died since the attacks from our toxic exposure. It has taken our nation 9 years to act after heralding us as heroes that would "never be forgotten."

We have begged for health care, gone to other countries to obtain treatment and died without access to health care in our own home land.

Today was a large, positive step toward being treated with dignity and respect by our government. They have stopped abandoning us. My colleagues and I have lobbied since 2007 for this bill. It is truly sad that a documentary had to be filmed to shame our elected officials into action and inform the world of the horrible aftermath from being caught in the toxic soupy cloud.

I had visions today of being on that hilltop in Cuba viewing the hospital that provided the evildoers with all the free health care they needed while the responders, who raced to save lives, died in need of medications, services and treatment. I had visions of Billy, John and I traveling to another country because we couldn't get the treatment we needed here in the U.S.

Today, I am still just a mom, still have a commitment to community service but I am slowly dying and dependent on oxygen. Life goes on and not a single responder I know has any regrets of performing our duties — we love our country and would proudly do it again. It's just a shame our elected officials couldn't have done their job like they did today the first time the bill came for a vote.

Today was a good day! I thank Michael Moore for letting us tell the world, in our words, what we were suffering through in "SiCKO." It pushed the situation into the national spotlight. Today is a very good day and the responders thank Michael Moore for his help.

The City of New York has a Captive Insurance Fund which to date has spent only 1% paying claims out of $1 billion in federal funds they received. The mayor of New York City and his administration could have been assisting sick and dying responders but have choosen not to act. They have however paid attorneys $500 an hour to fight claims submitted, spending over $400 million of the funds. It's time they get with the program. America is watching!

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