Proposed bill in Ohio would limit coverage for firefighters with certain cancers

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Bill could threaten firefighters' health coverage

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Firefighters are concerned that a proposed bill in Ohio could limit coverage for firefighters diagnosed with certain cancers.

Earlier this year the Palumbo Act was signed into law, providing coverage for firefighters diagnosed with certain cancers through worker’s compensation.

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In the Ohio House of Representatives, a proposed bill, known as House Bill 27, could limit the coverage if firefighters were found to not have been wearing safety gear properly.

Due to this new proposal, the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters started a campaign through social media to bring attention to this proposed bill.

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"You hear protective gear and you say oh that should protect you against everything but it doesn't it's protecting us against thermal injury and physical injury but the toxins in the environment that we work in still absorb through the gear into our skin," Andy Rigsbee, President of the Springfield Professional Firefighters Union said.

Rigsbee said because of the workplace conditions firefighters have a much higher risk to contract certain type of cancers the Palumbo Act covers.

The Ohio House Insurance Committee has postponed a vote on House Bill 27, but will hear a reading of the bill next week.

The sponsor of House Bill 27, Rep. Thomas Brinkman R-Cincinnati, did not respond to requests for comments on the bill. A member of his staff said Brinkman has received several media requests about the topic.

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