(WASHINGTON) — The Obama administration is extending health insurance to seasonal firefighters employed by the U.S. government, following a public outcry over the lack of affordable coverage for such workers.
“Starting today, the brave men and women of our nation’s federal firefighting forces, as well as their families, will have access to the health coverage they deserve. Their heroism in battling the deadly fires that have impacted states across the country this summer inspires us all,” the president said Tuesday in a written 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.”
Temporary firefighters working on wildfires across the country and their families will now have access to the same health insurance afforded to full time federal employees, the Office of Personnel Management announced.
The president directed his administration to extend coverage shortly after he toured the damage caused by the Colorado wildfires last month.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tom Kludt, CNN
Victor Blackwell, CNN Newswire
Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Deseret News
Ralph Ellis and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN