In Sickness and in Wealth
Bush administration apparently tried to limit payments to ailing nuclear workers
You know you’re in trouble when America’s bubblegum newspaper nails you. According to a memo obtained by USA Today, the Bush administration has tried to avoid compensating Cold War-era nuclear workers sickened by radiation. Under a federal program created in 2000 to pay claims to workers with cancer and other ills, nearly 98,000 cases were filed, and some 24,000 approved. But a memo prepared for House Judiciary subcommittee chair John Hostettler (R-Ind.) summarizes records that reflect “a continuous stream of [administration] communications … strategizing on minimizing payouts.” Probably because nuclear is perfectly safe! And clean! So shut up! “This program was supposed to assure workers … [that] their government was finally going to do right by them,” said Hostettler at a November hearing. “Those tasked with implementing [it] have failed that purpose miserably and they need to be exposed.” Hostettler lost re-election, but is encouraging his cronies to pursue the investigation.