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Maloney & Fossella:Comprehensive 9/11 Health Legislation

 
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:29 pm    Post subject: Maloney & Fossella:Comprehensive 9/11 Health Legislation
From Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:00 am to Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:59 am (included)
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For Immediate Release Contact: Joe Soldevere (Maloney), (212) 860-0606
March 22, 2007 Craig Donner (Fossella), (718) 356-8400



Reps. Maloney and Fossella Introduce

Comprehensive 9/11 Health Legislation



-The James Zadroga Act Would Provide Both Health Care

and Compensation for 9/11 Sick, Injured-



Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY) and a bipartisan group of their colleagues introduced the first legislation to provide both health care and compensation for those who are sick or injured as a result of the 9/11 attacks. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (H.R. 1638) would extend long-term medical monitoring to everyone exposed to Ground Zero toxins and federally-funded health care to anyone who is sick as a result. Additionally, the bill would reopen the federal Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) for sick and injured 9/11 responders and lower Manhattan residents, workers and schoolchildren. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed reopening the VCF in his testimony at a Senate hearing yesterday.

The Zadroga Act is named after the late James Zadroga, a New York City Homicide Detective and 9/11 responder who was among the first to die as a result of toxic exposures at Ground Zero. Original co-sponsors include Representatives José Serrano (D-NY), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), John McHugh (R-NY), John Hall (D-NY), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI).

"The Zadroga Act is the first bill that would provide both medical care and compensation for sick and injured responders, residents, workers, and students," said Congresswoman Maloney. "The legislation also ensures long-term, direct funding for the highly successful Centers of Excellence at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and the FDNY. Thousands of Americans are suffering as a direct result of 9/11. Our bill provides medical monitoring for everyone exposed to Ground Zero toxins, treatment for anyone who's sick, and compensation for anyone who sustained economic losses due to illness or injury."

Congressman Fossella said, "This bill addresses several key areas to help our heroes who are sick today as well as anyone who falls ill in the future. It provides comprehensive medical monitoring and treatment for those who were exposed to Ground Zero toxins and compensation for the sick and injured. The bill goes further by directing the National Institutes of Health to conduct research so that doctors can more effectively diagnose and treat the unique health issues related to 9/11. It also takes steps to ensure better coordination between all levels of government so that the unsung heroes of 9/11 get the help and care they need."

Congressman Shays said, "The first responders and residents exposed to toxins on September 11th need effective care and they, regretfully, have not yet gotten it. It's time for a comprehensive plan to provide monitoring, treatment and support. We have been working to shine the spotlight on this issue for some time with hearings and requesting the GAO investigate the issue, and this bill continues the momentum to provide impacted New Yorkers with the healthcare they deserve."

"The Zadroga Act will help to complete a promise that the American people made to those who served so heroically and bravely on 9/11 and those who had the misfortune being exposed to the toxic fumes and dust over the weeks following," Congressman Serrano said. "These people deserve no less than the best health care and health monitoring that our nation can provide, as well as economic support as they face illnesses caused by that terrible terrorist act."

"It's time the federal government takes responsibility for those who are sick from 9/11," said Joseph Zadroga, Detective Zadroga's father. "There is nothing worse for these heroes than to have their government turn its back on them by not providing proper care and financial security for their families, especially when they gave so much for their country. I watched my son die a slow death because no one cared: not the city, not the state and not the federal government. Since my son's death, I have talked to numerous families who are going through the same pain and suffering we did. The government must understand what the families are going through: watching their loved ones slowly getting sicker and dying while also having severe financial difficulties.

"That's why I support giving lifelong, quality care to those who are sick or dying and reopening the compensation fund. These workers must know that their families will be taken care of if something happens to them as a result of their work at Ground Zero. You cannot imagine how much this means for the sick workers."

"The New York State AFL-CIO deeply appreciates the efforts of Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Vito Fossella for introducing a comprehensive bill that works to protect both the immediate and long-term health needs of our 9/11 heroes," said Denis M. Hughes, President of the New York State AFL-CIO. Many of our members are suffering serious health problems as a result of their work in response to the 9/11 attacks. These members need a comprehensive program to address their medical problems and resulting disabilities"


"This bill is a strong and necessary first step toward expanding current monitoring and treatment programs at Mt. Sinai, the FDNY and Bellevue Hospital. It also provides for long-term medical treatment and compensates workers for their losses. These three issues are vital if we are going to fully ensure the health and well-being of 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers. Fully addressing these three issues are vital if we are going to ensure the health and well-being of 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers.


"The New York State AFL-CIO looks forward to continuing its work with Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Fossella and the members of New York's congressional delegation to enact comprehensive legislation that addresses the health needs of workers and residents that have resulted from 9/11 exposures."

"The Uniformed Fire Officers Association, representing 2,500 superior officers of the New York City Fire Department, will never forget the efforts of the New York State Congressional delegation to protect firefighters and other first responders to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center," said Peter Gorman, President of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. "Reps. Maloney and Fossella always were, and still are, in the front ranks of the Congressional responders to our concerns for the health-related problems our members face today."

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act incorporates elements of the Remember 9/11 Health Act and the James Zadroga Act of 2006, which Maloney and Fossella introduced in the last Congress. Maloney first introduced the Remember 9/11 Health Act in the 108th Congress.

Provisions of the James Zadroga Act:

Medical Monitoring and Treatment: Continues and expands the current programs at the three Centers of Excellence dedicated to 9/11 health issues to all people exposed to the toxins of 9/11, including first responders; rescue, recovery and clean up workers; area residents, office workers and students.

Compensation: Reopens the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund to provide individuals who have become sick from 9/11 compensation for their losses.

Research: Directs the National Institutes of Health to conduct or support diagnostic and treatment research for health conditions that are associated with the exposure to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Coordination: Establishes the 9/11 Health Emergency Coordinating Council for the purpose of discussing, examining, and formulating recommendations to improve coordination between the federal, state and local governments.

Background:

The VCF was established by Congress in 2001 and provided financial assistance the families of the deceased victims of 9/11 and made financial awards to 2,680 of the sick and/or injured rescue workers who responded to the attacks. VCF claimants were required to file by December 22, 2003. Since the December 22, 2003 deadline, the health conditions of many exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero have either developed for the first time or become worse.

03/06/07 - Administration's Top 9/11 Health Official's Testimony Draws Concern from NY-area Delegation

02/07/07 - New Congressional Resolution Would Urge Administration to Develop Federal 9/11 Health Plan

01/31/07 - 9/11 HEALTH BREAKTHROUGH: Reps. Fossella & Maloney Confirm White House Will Include Funding for 9/11 Health Treatment in Budget Proposal

10/27/06 - A 9/11 Health Crisis First: Federal Money for Medical Treatment Is Distributed

02/27/06 - Reps. Fossella & Maloney Announce Appointment of 9/11 Health Coordinator to Oversee Feds' Response to Ground Zero Health Impacts
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