Help for the Victims

In the aftermath of the devastating terror attack in Boston, and the subsequent manhunt for the perpetrators that left one terrorist dead and the other behind bars, much of the focus has been on the forces of evil. As the investigation continues and the legal case against the surviving terrorist begins to wend its way through the system, it is crucial that the media and the public keep a watchful eye on the plight of the victims, both the injured and the relatives of those killed.

For many of these innocent men, women and children, the injuries they suffered — both physical and psychological — will be long lasting. The lives of those whose limbs had to be amputated have been changed forever.

In addition to the incalculable toll of human suffering, these injuries also come with an astoundingly high price tag. While health-insurance policies will likely cover much of the costs, even a small portion of the costs for rehabilitation, long-term psychological therapy and prosthetic limbs can prove to be astronomical.

It isn’t only a matter of paying doctors’ bills. Some families will have to renovate their homes to make them handicapped accessible. Many breadwinners will be out of work for extended periods of time, and disability-insurance checks are generally for significantly less money than their previous earnings.

In a welcome development, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced on Tuesday that donations to One Fund Boston, benefiting victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, have reached $20 million.

While this is a very respectable sum, it may not prove to be enough. It is the obligation of the U.S. taxpayer — via the federal government — to ensure that everything humanly possible is done to ease the suffering of the victims and their families. As they struggle to rebuild their lives, the least we can do is ensure that financial constraints won’t be a hindrance.