"Seasonal Firefighters Win Battle for Government Health Insurance"

"For the first time, more than 8,000 temporary wilderness firefighters -- the men and women who battle some of the nation's most devastating fires -- will be eligible to receive federal health insurance, the White House said Tuesday."

"According to U.S. government personnel rules, seasonal employees – a classification that includes firefighters who work only during fire season – cannot buy the health insurance plan available to full-time federal employees. Tuesday’s announcement makes an exception for temporary firefighters, who make up more than half of the firefighters on the federal payroll this year.

'Their heroism in battling the deadly fires that have impacted states across the country this summer inspires us all,' President Obama said in a statement. 'Each day, these Americans put themselves in grave danger to save the lives of people they never met, which is why I directed my administration to ensure that our nation’s firefighters can count on the care and protection they need.'

Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management and the Agriculture and Interior departments to open the insurance plans to firefighters, the Associated Press reported."

Laura J. Nelson reports for the Los Angeles Times July 17, 2012.

Source: LA Times, 07/19/2012