After visiting Colorado Springs, one of the towns most devastated by ongoing wildfires, President Obama instructed officials to offer federal health insurance to seasonal firefighters, the Denver Post reports.
Hundreds of seasonal firefighters—a force comprised mostly of young people and college students—have been battling especially severe wildfires in Colorado and other Western states, risking both immediate danger and long-term health consequences from bronchitis to lung cancer. Obama reportedly told his cabinet upon his return that he wanted to “find a solution” for these firefighters, who are not eligible for federal insurance because they are not full-time workers. Earlier this summer, an online petition garnering 126,000 signatures helped promote the cause to insure firefighters and another Denver Post article highlighted the need:
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