Continue Programs Providing Medical Treatment. A week after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would continue programs providing medical treatment and compensation to 9/11 responders for another 25 years.
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, along with Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King, and senators and representatives from across the country, introduced the Zadroga Act reauthorization. In 2010, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to provide compensation, medical monitoring, and treatment to people who were injured or became ill due to the 9/11 attacks, according to a press release from Sen. Gillibrand’s office. The Zadroga Act reopened the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which provides compensation to WTC survivors who became ill after being exposed to the toxic dust and other toxins at Ground Zero. The Zadroga Act also established the World Trade Center Health Program, and the program provides medical treatment to more than 30,000 first responders nationwide. First responders have been treated for such illnesses as asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and cancers. The WTC Health Program is vital in providing care to 9/11 survivors, especially considering the rise in 9/11-linked cancer diagnoses in recent years, according to the press release. Exposure to 9/11 toxins has been associated with more than 60 types of cancer.
Victim Compensation Fund Are Set to Expire
Unless the Zadroga Act is extended, the World Trade Center Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund are set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016 respectively.
Senator Gillibrand said “We will do everything in our power to get this new legislation passed and signed. But it shouldn’t have to take another ‘Christmas Miracle’ for Congress to do the right thing. It should simply take listening to these heroes and reflecting on 9/11 and about who we are as a nation.”
“We owe it to those who served us on September 11th to make sure they receive the care they need,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Schumer said passage of the reauthorization act “must be a top priority for all members of Congress.”