"U.S. Firefighters On Climate Frontline Face 'Broken' Health System"

"Chris Carneal spent much of his working life fighting fires for the U.S. government, so when he was diagnosed with cancer he turned to a federal workplace compensation program for help to foot the bill.

Although his doctors said his kidney cancer was linked to smoke exposure from work, the program administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) initially refused to cover his care.

Carneal spent the last two years of his life struggling to pay medical bills and wrangling with a system that many firefighters say is failing to properly protect those who undertake one of the country's most dangerous and vital jobs.

A year before his death, Carneal pleaded via Twitter with then-President Donald Trump to pressure Congress to make it easier for firefighters to access care for chronic illnesses.

'Please help us,' he wrote. 'We give our life.'"

Avi Asher-Schapiro and David Sherfinski report for Thomson Reuters Foundation November 10, 2021.

Source: Thomson Reuters Fdn., 11/11/2021