The Main Stream

Jul 11, 2012 1:53 AM

Wildland firefighters win federal health benefits

DENVER, CO - A White House official says President Barack Obama will make federal health insurance available to about 8,000 temporary wildland firefighters.

The official spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because Obama's decision hasn't been formally announced.

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.

Temporary seasonal firefighters make up more than half of the 15,000 wildland firefighters on the federal payroll this busy wildfire season.

The decision was first announced by The Denver Post and came after stories by The Post, The Associated Press and others about the firefighters' dilemma.


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