This is a personal appeal for EMS responders. It is not just for Danny Mac, whom these friends and family set out to help, but for all EMS responders potentially effected by this legislation.
FireGeezer also posted on this here
Danny McIntosh died in the line of duty about two years ago. You can read his story here http://dannymac.org/INDEX.html. His wife & kids were denied the $330k federal PSOB death benefit because… he was working for an EMS non-profit. PSOB covers paid & volunteer EMTs, paramedics & firefighters who work for fire department based non-profits, but they deny all claims if it’s an EMS based non-profit. It’s a stupid loophole. The families of several hundred thousand EMTs & paramedics are not be protected by PSOB because of this loophole. The ironic thing about this case is~ Danny was also a firefighter and a sworn law enforcement officer. If he had responded to the same job wearing any of his other uniforms, Bethann, Delaney & Addison would have been covered.
Congressman Mike “the rockstar” Fitzpatrick got wind of the problems of the McIntosh family, and he got personally involved. His staffers worked with Bethann on her appeals, and Mike proposed HR1668 “Danny Mac” to close this stupid loophole. They reached out to their brothers & sisters in Vermont http://www.honoringheroes.com/2011/06/danny-mac-progress-report-2/ Last summer, the bill was stuck in the House Judiciary committee. Some of the staffers who work for the Chairman (Lamar Smith- Texas) had a problem with it, so we went to DC to educate them, and help get this bill passed. They asked their brothers & sisters in Texas to talk to their member of Congress (Lamar Smith) about this issue. They were glad to do it, because there are quite a few EMS non-profits in his district that were affected. http://www.honoringheroes.com/2011/07/mutual-aid-needed-from-texas-for-danny-mac/
Nationally syndicated radio host Michael Smerconish got involved. He broadcasts from Philly, and he has listeners in Austin & San Antonio.
and some bloggers got involved.
When he learned the truth, Congressman Smith became a supporter of the Danny Mac bill.
They then had to wait until the bill was passed by the House (happened in early 2012). A parallel bill was passed by the Senate (same time). It should have become law- and then a little less than two weeks ago- the wheels came off.
Every time a bill becomes law, the last step is the House & Senate bills go to a Conference Committee. The purpose of this committee is to RECONCILE the two bills. Many times there are subtle differences in the language. In this case, the Conference Committee CHANGED the two bills by pulling all of the “Danny Mac” language out of the bill. They pulled the language 90 minutes before the bill became law! Their arrogance is epic. I’m told that the decision was made by one of the staffers who works for Congressman Mica (Orlando).
I’m told their reason was money. They didn’t want to add to the debt/deficit. I get it. The government is out of control. Guess how much it would cost… the Congressional Budget Office benchmarked it at $10 million dollars over 10 years! That’s a massive 0.00027% of the budget! If they had done their homework and read the bill, they would have learned that it is paid for out of drug seizure money. It actually adds 0.0000000000000% to the debt/deficit. Talk about failing!
One arrogant political-hack staffer violated the will of the people (the bill was passed by both chambers). One arrogant political-hack staffer violated denied Danny’s widow and small children equal protection under the law, and denied them Danny’s death benefit… because he worked for a non-profit. Tricks like this are the reason why Congress’ approval rating never tops 10%. They played by the rules. They used their First Amendment rights and “petitioned our government”. They did it themselves. They didn’t use lobbyists because they couldn’t afford them.. Can you guess how pissed they are?
They are not alone. Congressman Fitzpatrick, Senator Leahy (author of the Senate bill), and Congressman Smith (TX) are going to introduce a stand-alone bill. They need to get the bill passed ASAP because Bethann’s last appeal will be heard in mid-March.
This week~ boots on the ground~ again
They are heading down to DC on Wednesday (Feb. 15th, 2012) to hold Congressman Mica accountable for the actions of his staffer. They (Bucks County PA guys) are being joined by guys from as far away as Vermont & Texas. This is grassroots- set up by guys who knew Danny- to honor his memory and to take care of his family. This isn’t being set-up, sponsored, endorsed, funded, or orchestrated by any lobbyists or national organizations.
They want to make it possible for the stand-alone to be passed before Bethann’s hearing, and to turn survivors’ issues into a political third rail. The plan is to hold Mica accountable in the court of public opinion. It would be a grand-slam if they could get some guys in the Orlando area to show up in front of one of his offices down there- and get the local media to cover it. They are working the networks to see if we can get it done…
Make the story go viral~
Share it, comment, repost it, and retweet it. Whatever you can do to spread the word!
Some of the text above was sent to me by the advocates. Some was edited and added by me.