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Pols unite at Ground Zero, push to reauthorize 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

September 8, 2014 From members of the United States Congress
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is among the many politicians in favor of passing the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
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With the country set to reflect on the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center later this week, many of the federal bipartisan lawmakers who led the fight in Congress to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Peter King gathered together at Ground Zero on Monday along with Mayor Bill de Blasio, 9/11 first responders, community survivors and union leaders to begin their push to reauthorize the critically needed programs originally passed in December 2010.

The Zadroga bill’s two critical programs providing medical treatment and compensation for 9/11 heroes the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund are set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016, respectively. To continue these programs for 25 more years, through 2041, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer will introduce the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act later this month in the Senate, and Representatives Maloney, Nadler and King will do so in the House. 

Nearly 13 years after Sept. 11, 9/11 responders and survivors are battling serious health crises resulting from exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero. More than 30,000 9/11 responders and survivors have an illness or injury caused by the attacks or their aftermath, and over two-thirds of those have more than one illness. Many are disabled and can no longer work. They are suffering from a host of chronic diseases: asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and many more.

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Medical research has identified more than 60 types of cancer caused by 9/11 toxins. More than 2,900 people have been diagnosed with cancers caused or made worse by the aftermath of the attacks more than 800 New York Fire Department members and more than 550 New York Police Department personnel are struggling with serious 9/11-related illnesses, not including the more than 70 firefighters and 60 NYPD officers who have died from their 9/11-related illnesses.

“With the 13th anniversary of 9/11 upon us this week, it is clear that while the dust has settled from the tragic attacks, the physical ramifications are still with us,” said Sen. Schumer. “This legislation, which will extend critically needed medical treatment and compensation programs for another 25 years, must be a top priority. It is our duty to care for the heroes that sacrificed so much in a time of great despair and pain.” 

“Just as we stood together as a nation in the days following Sept. 11, 2001, and just as we stood strong together in 2010 to create these vital programs, we must join forces again to ensure that the heroes of 9/11 are not abandoned when they need us most,” said Congressman Nadler. 

“No group deserves our gratitude and help more than those who went to Ground Zero in the days and weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks.  We have a moral obligation to make sure that these heroes and their families get the medical treatment and compensation they deserve,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.  


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