Overheard on CNN.com: Don’t desert 9/11 responders
9/11 responders to the World Trade Center attack will not have their cancer treatments covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act
July 27th, 2011
04:29 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Don’t desert 9/11 responders

Comment of the day:

“I don't [care] if the cancer was a result of 9/11 or not. The fact is, they are all heroes and deserve to be taken care of!” - wetcougar

Cover responder’s cancer treatments

Citing the lack of a clear link between 9/11 exposures and cancer, workers who were involved in the response to the World Trade Center attack will not have their cancer treatments compensated under a program set up after September 11. The controversial decision was released Tuesday by the World Trade Center Health Program and will receive "periodic reviews of cancer.”

Most CNN.com readers showed support for the responders:

DavidTPro said, “We can subsidize the rich and bail out the corporations, but we can't take care of our heroes? We are in a sad place America.”

profmike7 said, “Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Let us give billionaires more tax breaks though.”

wantitbetter said, “Fine, and the next time they hit, dig yourselves out.”

scannergirl said, “Cancer treatment is very expensive. What these folks did is priceless. What better way to thank them then to cover their care? If we pay for a case or two that cannot be tied to the actual event, I, for one, am OK with that.”

TodStutze said, “These people, the first responders, did something that most of us would walk away from and try to forget. I really don't [care] if they were in bad health before; these people need to have the treatment, care, and whatever else they need to live a long, healthy life. Who's left when you let our heroes die?”

brighterUS said, “Sorry, folks. The US would rather spend that money on aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

mhwolfe said, “What the hell is wrong with this country? We provide free medical care to inmates yet we cannot provide it for men and women who risked their lives on the day of tragedy? I'm in total disbelief!”

slypilot said, “Ten years ago this September, I was one of the responders to be called into service. My unit, however, was not in the ground zero area. Back then, we were treated as heroes, however I think the only heroes that day were the ones that gave their lives. Our profession has been decimated by the politicians and many members of the public with morale lower than I've ever seen it in over 20 years. Am I surprised that my brothers and sisters working ground zero have been denied this life saving benefit?? NOT AT ALL. At the end of the day, heroes and their families are expendable, aren't they?!”

NoSpinNow said, “Welcome to what every Veteran goes through with the VA process. Hundreds and hundreds had to die before they acknowledge the damages from Monsanto's Agent Orange. Welcome to our world!”

Other readers said that if the United States had a better health care system, this wouldn’t be an issue.

TheRealist20 said, “Things like this prove that America has the 34th best health care system in the world according to the WHO. It could be great, but most can't afford to actually use it. In Japan the average yearly healthcare cost is 50 percent of ours, yet people seek medical attention twice as often.”

Jimdog1954 said, “If we had a single-payer, universal-coverage health care system, we wouldn't be having this discussion. How many more lives? How many more years? How many more billions in tax cuts for the rich?”

Stevereeno said, “Basically the insurance companies are wiggling out of their liability and the government is letting them.”

And some readers supported the WHO’s decision:

sharky66 said, “They ARE getting paid, they are getting money. Put their life on the line? They were doing their jobs. Police, Firemen constantly put their lives on the line to, NOT dealing with the terrorist attack, are they getting big payouts? No, they get their wages. Nothing was different other than these people were simply doing their jobs, and they will not ever be forgotten regarding that. However, you cannot pay out for treatments and all of that if there is no direct and undeniable link that a person's cancer was caused by 9/11. If you cannot prove it then they should not be paid.”

1ScruffyMutt said, “We HAVE spent money to help responders, but just throwing more money at them for anything that comes up and they say it was due to 9-11 is idiotic...”

Is addiction a disease?

Marvin Seppala, M.D., the chief medical officer of Hazelden, a private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug addiction treatment organization, contributed an opinion piece to CNN.com about addiction. In it, he says that while “It seems nearly impossible to believe that people with addiction would continue to use drugs and alcohol to the point of death” that is what they do. And he says addiction is a brain disease that, with increased knowledge, can lead to more effective treatment.

CNN.com readers were divided, although it seemed that people with personal experience, whether first- or secondhand, agreed with Dr. Seppala.

Sam said, “My son was just arrested again – he started taking methamphetamine again after over a year of abstinence. It hurts so much to watch him destroy himself. I can relate to what Amy Winehouse's parents must have felt. I believe it is a disease – how can anyone who wants so much to stay clean end up doing this again? I miss my son the way he really is when he is clean – it's like two different people.”

Dakine said, “I agree with you. I am the product of an alcoholic ex and one child ending up in rehab, (thankfully she’s clean and sober for many years now). I think the perception that addicts are somehow in control of their thinking and decision-making abilities is the reason why so many of them don't get the help they need.”

Hope said, “The disease of addiction is like an F5 tornado running through peoples lives. It is sad that the people closest to the addict get hurt the most. I am a recovering addict with two children and I come from a long line of addicts and most of them have died from this disease. I have a hard time understanding and coming to terms with this disease and I definitely don't expect others to.”

Deby D. said, “I feel absolutely no empathy or concern for the person in my life who has destroyed my marriage and my children's sense of trust and love from their father. He has casused irreparable pain to all of us. There is not "understanding" or forgiveness. He has made his choices and we have all made ours. The difference is that we can live by our choices and still respect ourselves; he cannot. He deserves the consequences of his actions as all of us who are not addicts must do every day of our lives.”

Cocoloco said, “Addiction is not a disease. Cancer and the flu are diseases."

Fuyuko said, “I do not really consider an addiction a disease. I do think it is a physical/psychological dependency. But not really a disease per se. And the disease doesn't 'lie' to people. It is the person's dependence which rationalizes the use and distorts their perception of the addiction.”

Carolyn said, “My 68-year-old mother is an addict and has been for at least 40 years. She's been arrested twice, in the hospital dozens of times, burned her entire house down, and more. I cannot help someone who does not want to help herself. I mourn for the person she could have been.”

Two-second Hefner?

Former Hugh Hefner fiancee Crystal Harris dished about the former couple’s intimate moments Tuesday on Sirius XM Radio’s "Howard Stern Show." The 24-year-old said that sex with the 85-year-old lasted “like two seconds” and that she’s not turned on by the Playboy mogul.

Considering that the couple had been engaged to be married, many CNN.com readers cried foul.

oldguy68 said, “This says more about her than it does about him.”

DrivingFast said, “She has no class...”

HJCihak said, “Agreed. What did she honestly expect of an 85 yr. old man? An athlete? Whatever his failings, it was her decision to get engaged and her decision to call it off. If she had ANY class at all, she would've kept her big yap shut.”

blublue said, If you know you don't want to ever have sex with him then don't pretend to ‘marry’ him just to get money. Didn't she even keep the ring?”

bostoncreme said, “The most interesting thing I find in this that now she is dating Dr. Phil's son, that Dr. Phil who goes around the world lecturing on family matters.”

ringsider said, “She is, no doubt, a gold digger with no brain and less class, but Hefner pretty much got what he deserved here. Sounds like the perfect temporary relationship between two self-absorbed serial users.”

OutNasa said, “She debased a clown who has exploited women for profit ... good for her! She's my hero.”

Corvus1 said, “Yeah, it says she's got the spine to stand up and tell the truth instead of being polite and ‘ladylike.’”

pumpkin67 said, “There are some things even money can't buy. Get a clue rich old guys; the young thangs don't want you. Why not try someone closer to your age for a change? Someone that actually might love you?”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. michaelfury

    Demand that CNN and its corporate news peers cover the International Hearings on the Events of September 11, 2001 that will take place September 8, 9, 10 and 11 at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.


    July 28, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    @Michael Fury...the Towers weren't demolished, they were "dustified" by free-energy technology applied. The Towers did have explosive charges attatched to inner floor truss bolts and they did in fact detonate. But this was just part of the ruse. The cleverest ruse in human history. The key to "busting" them is to focus on the Pentagon. Firefighters responding did in fact come down with DU illness (DEPLETED URANIUM) Flight 77 didn't have uranium, and the Pentagon didn't leave any laying around. Intrigue galore.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    ...and clearly that isn't a giant jumbo jet in that video we had to sue the Pentagon to get. You've seen the video a hundred times. That engine found on the grounds...wrong engine for flight 77. The Pentagon "crash" is ez to uncover. But everyone has been focused on the Towers. "They" never dreamed that their double coverup would be exposed. It's THAT clever. It really is. I implore you to look into this for US.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    This Toronto thingy is part of what "they" were counting on...they knew we would find out that the buildings were demolished. But they didn't think we would notice people taking their clothes off before leaping from the towers and sending us hand signals and lip-readerable messages. They didn't think we'd notice that cop car...one end completetly blackened abd charred, and on the other side of an exactly straight line, the car is shiny new. And the biggie, missing debris. There should have been massive piles, but there wasn't. Those are the clues...the games afoot. Watson! My cane please.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Have you ever been bombarded by microwaves? They would slowly cook you from the inside. And if you were wearing wet clothes, as you know from microwave cooking, you would feel the effects much worse. So these fellow American's took their clothes off, and while still being cooked thehy paused before leaping to relief. They gave us hand signals and talked...straight into the helicopter TV NEWS CAMERAS. They were letting themselves be cooked longer because they were our neighbors and were doing what any brave neighbor would do if it meant others might not suffer the same. We owe it to them to get our hands on those videos and apply everything we have at our disposal to try and find out what they were saying. We do, and we will.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. big deal

    The towers planes and alleged victims were all part of a hollywood stunt. .nothing more

    July 28, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • PaulC

      Put your tinfoil hat back on and take your meds.

      July 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    @ michaelfury & @ Philip

    Rogers to that & well said.
    Americans deserve to know the truth behind this crime & cover up of the century against America & Americans.
    Wish more Americans could hear what the veteran BBC/ITN correspondent Alan Hart, who has been investigating 9/11 attacks has to say. Catch his interview to BBC on YouTube.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PaulC

    Ask the tea party loonies if they want to approve funds for these people. I'm sure Michele and Sarah will have some interesting thoughts.

    July 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Monty

    As a surgeon that treats throat cancer, I must say the public depiction of the issue is twisted. While they parade a "first responder" with throat cancer on stage, everyone in healthcare field will tell you that vast majority of throat cancer is caused by one thing.... prolonged smoking. There is no known scientific mechanism to show that short term exposure to anything can cause throat cancer. It takes years of consistent exposure to carcinogen like tobacco smoke to cause laryngeal cancer.

    Throat cancer is probably one of the worst cancer to have because it is so debilitating to lifestyle. It affects one's speech, eating, breathing, and can be disfiguring. There is also relatively high chance of recurrence.

    While I sympathize with that patient's plight, we shouldn't forget the fact that being at the 9/11 site didn't cause his throat cancer. I'm willing to bet that this patient had been a heavy smoker for many years.

    Why should the 9/11 fund go towards paying for treatment of his cancer that was unrelated to the incident? It would be like having tax payers pay for treating bald headedness, impotence, obesity...etc.

    July 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tim W.

    My heros are members of the U.S. Military...............do not offer any benefits to these first responders that are not offered equally to all veterans !

    July 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |

    I shall be very greatful if you can send me the complete coverage of 9/11 or 911. I shall be showing this to my children. The should know what the Islam Terrorists did to the United States.

    My address is as follows:- CHARLIE SAMPOH
    D – 24114 KIEL

    I thank you in advance for your warm cooperation. My warmest regards

    Yours Sincerely
    Charlie Sampoh

    July 29, 2011 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |

    I shall be very greatful if you can send me the complete coverage of 9/11 or 911. I shall be showing this to my children. They should know what the Islam Terrorists did to the United States.

    My address is as follows:- CHARLIE SAMPOH
    D – 24114 KIEL

    I thank you in advance for your warm cooperation. My warmest regards

    Yours Sincerely
    Charlie Sampoh

    July 29, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. alsmeer1

    how sad. I cry in shame for America. what have we come to. to say the things I have been reading here.
    I for one do not believe in this conspiracy of "we did it" w/ explosives and the whole thing was faked.
    I know what I saw. and that was jets flying into those towers. horrible.
    I stand for America. for Liberty & Justice and the American Flag. And yes... I am a Christian!

    July 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. frommyheart2u

    ALERT: I've set up a Donation account for Edgar Galvis, the cancer stricken Ground Zero worker who just received a compensation check for $000.00, after his attorney's office skimmed off their fees.
    PLEASE donate your pocket, couch, ashtray change to: http://goo.gl/cJe3P
    If our own government won't compensate our heros, then we have to do it, penny by penny. Any amount is welcome. Let's get our coins together and let Mr. Galvis know he is not forgotten or thrown away with the rubble of the WTC.
    Thank you!!!!

    July 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
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