As Americans, we seem most highly evolved at thinking of ways to screw each other over. That includes denying the chronically ill volunteers who went down to Ground Zero the day after 9/11 not only compensation for illness, but refusing to acknowledge some were even there.
On September 11, 2001 and in the weeks that followed, thousands of Americans reported to the site of the World Trade Center to help in whatever way they could. These heroes did not let us down 9 years ago, but on December 9th, the US Senate let them down.
We can hardly rely on BP to determine the true health effects, and state and local governments, while important in the process, do not have the capacity to coordinate among many agencies and authorities that would be involved.