Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis avoids interviews and meetings with Contractor Groups

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 20, 2010

While Miranda ChiuU.S. Dept. of Labor, Chief, Branch of Policy, Regulations and Procedures, DOL/ESA/OWCP/DLHWC continues to Drop the DBA Ball

The Labor Department, which runs the system, required by a law known as the Defense Base Act, has exercised little oversight over the treatment provided to foreign workers. Despite promises to better enforce labor laws and widespread agreement that the contractor health care system is costly and ineffective , Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has largely avoided interviews and meetings with contractor groups seeking to reform the system.

Labor Day Message to Hilda Solis Secretary Dept of Labor

In the week before the holidays Pro Publica and T Christian Miller produced a run of excellent  articles on wounded Afghan and Iraqi Interpreters, which are part of their ongoing series about injured civilian contractors. In case you missed them during the holiday rush here they are again.

Our Articles onWounded Iraq andAfghan Interpreters-Now in Arabic

Malek Hadi was working with the U.S. military police when a homemade bomb detonated beneath his Humvee in September 2006. (Allison V. Smith/For The Los Angeles Times.)
Malek Hadi was working with the U.S. military police when a homemade bomb detonated beneath his Humvee in September 2006. (Allison V. Smith/For The Los Angeles Times.)

Al Hayat [1], a pan-Arabic newspaper based in London, has translated and published [2] a ProPublica story [3] about the health care struggles faced by Iraqi and Afghan citizens wounded while working as interpreters for U.S. soldiers. Part of a continuing series on injured civilian contractors [4], the original story detailed how injured local interpreters suffered shoddy treatment in a system funded by American taxpayers to provide medical care and disability benefits. Many of the interpreters fled to the U.S. after becoming targets for the insurgency. Once here, they found themselves isolated and in poverty, fighting with private insurance companies who often denied claims for medical treatment. More than 360 Iraqi and Afghan interpreters died [5] while working as translators for defense firms contracted with the military—a larger death toll than any other nation’s armed forces except for the United States.

To supplement Al Hayat’s coverage, ProPublica is translating and posting two related stories. The first piece [6] concerns a doctor who treated hundreds of Iraqi interpreters while working for troubled insurance giant AIG in Jordan. Patients later complained that the doctor did not provide the appropriate treatment—a claim denied by the doctor. The English version is here [7]. A second story [8] takes a look at Iraqi support workers, who have sometimes settled their medical claims for a fraction of the total due to them by insurance providers. Here’s the original [9].

4 Responses to “Labor Secretary Hilda Solis avoids interviews and meetings with Contractor Groups”

  1. brit guy said

    Sorry to say this folks but do you think that the Taliban will not be aware of this.

    These people are media savvy and not stupid look at recent events. It hurts me to say this folks but due to act of these greedy manipulative people for their own greed and the inability of those in power to prevent this abuse of law we will lose the war on terror.(I am referring to the insurance companies and the DoL)

    The Taliban or insurgents or whatever what you want to you call them will use this to their advantage.

    Little Ibriham sits at home daddy’s legs blown off Mr Taliban turns up look how they treat your father Ibrihim they use him and then discard him his usefulness over. They sit in their palaces laughing at us.
    (Little Ibriham is shown pictures of houses in the USA families sitting at the table laughing the table full off food)
    You scratch in the dirt to provide for your family do you or your family deserve this Ibriham look how they treat you strike back Ibriham. Join us claim your place at the right hand of God live in paradise with your 72 virgins for all eternity in a land of plenty free of suffering.
    After weeks of scratching in the dirt and visits from Mr Taliban watching his family suffer and his father sitting in pain Ibriham receives his finale visit from Mr Taliban.

    Guess where your next suicide bomber came from.

    Before you give a knee jerk reaction to this comment please, please, please remember this your own history tells you what is said here is true.

    Look at the founding fathers

    Opposed to greed and repression they signed the Declaration of Independence at the time what we would know call an act of terrorism. (Yes I am from the UK)

    Wars against terror are not won with tanks bullets and air power. They are the start to show the oppressed there is a better way when you remove the oppressor. Compassion fair treatment and the rule of law (If applied correctly) will win the day.
    We have all heard it

    Hearts and Minds

    After all this is the doctrine of any counter insurgency operation.

    Maybe the people attending the conference might want to take this on board instead of working out how they can maximise profit at the expense of those who put their life on the line to allow them the privilege of this freedom.

    Or maybe they would like to hold the conference in Baghdad or Kabul or Fallujah or Ramdi maybe Helmond or Sangin how about the BIAP or Camp Victory maybe Korean village and then they could see at first hand what the contractors do for them.
    Maybe not the insurance might not cover them if something went wrong heaven forbid they could not get the medical care or benefits they need to live.
    Just a thought though.,
    Enjoy your junket and a Mojito for me please

  2. anonymous on purpose said


    You kinda lost me…I do not know what your post has to do with the article..or for that matter what this blog is about…contractors and the abuses perpetrated against us. We have enough stuff about the war elsewhere, let’s keep this blog what it was intended for….contractors and those fighting for fairness when confronted by adversity from the insurance companies (he was diagnosed with PTSD and did not receive the treatment he should have had).

    Not that I am saying that your post does not have merit…I just have heard it all before.

    Really, I do agree with what you are saying and I hope I do not offend.

  3. anonymous on purpose said

    Hello again

    Brit Guy,

    I am sorry, (taken a couple pain killers, was really hurting!) I thought I was still on the article about the Security Contractor on trial for murder…


    Wrong Post,


    Yes, Everything you wrote is pertinent to this article and I am an idiot for castigating you. My bad…

    I’ve been waiting so looooong for surgeries myself…it seems like a never ending story…I have read about your care before on other answers you have given and I have to say I am honestly jealous. I am going to be crippled forever compared to when I went over there because of corporate greed!

    Have a great day, and sorry!

  4. […] Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Avoids interviews and meetings with Contractor Groups […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: