KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama To Make Federal Health Insurance Available To Seasonal Firefighters

The directive to make federal health insurance coverage available to these seasonal employees follows a two-month electronic petition drive. 

The Associated Press: Wildland Firefighters Win Federal Health Benefits
President Barack Obama will make federal health insurance available to about 8,000 temporary wildland firefighters, a White House official said Tuesday. Despite the grueling and dangerous work they do, the 8,000 firefighters aren't covered by federal health insurance because they are temporary seasonal employees. Under federal personnel rules, such employees can't buy into federal health insurance plans (Elliott, 7/11).

Reuters: Obama Orders Health Insurance For Government's Seasonal Firefighters
President Barack Obama has ordered his administration to offer health insurance to seasonal firefighters employed by the U.S. government, after an outcry over the lack of affordable coverage available to thousands of such workers. Obama's directive, confirmed by the White House on Tuesday, capped a 2-month-old electronic petition drive started by a member of a U.S. Forest Service "hot-shot" crew based in South Dakota that has drawn more than 125,000 signatures (7/11).

Denver Post: Obama Directive Offers Wildland Firefighters Health Insurance
President Barack Obama has directed federal officials to offer seasonal firefighters the option of purchasing federal health insurance coverage, White House officials told The Denver Post Tuesday. On a recent trip to Colorado Springs, the president was apparently moved by the men and women firefighters he met, senior administration officials said in an interview (Sherry, 7/10).

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