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Bill Moving Through Congress Demands Federal 9/11 Health

 
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DMCKEON
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:39 am    Post subject: Bill Moving Through Congress Demands Federal 9/11 Health
From Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:00 am to Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:59 am (included)
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For Immediate Release Contact: Joe Soldevere (Maloney), 212-860-0606
June 13, 2007 Craig Donner (Fossella), 718-356-5039

Bill Moving Through Congress Would Demand Federal 9/11 Health Plan

-Reps. Maloney and Fossella Have Repeatedly Called on Federal Gov't

to Deliver Plan to Treat/Monitor Americans Exposed to Ground Zero Toxins-

Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY), Co-Chairs of the Congressional 9/11 Health Caucus, applauded the House Committee on Appropriations for including in the report language for the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill a measure that calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and release within four months a comprehensive, long-term plan to medically monitor everyone exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and treat anyone who is sick as a result. The Committee also requested that the Department include provisions for "long-term medical care, worker compensation, income security, and disability benefits for affected individuals and liability issues for the city of New York and its contractors." Maloney and Fossella have been calling on the federal government for more than a year to release such a plan.

The "Labor HHS" appropriations measure is expected to come to the House floor for a vote in the next two weeks. While report language itself is not binding, it is an important and powerful tool for Congress to obtain information from the Administration. The appropriations bill also includes $50,000,000 for federally-funded 9/11 health clinics, which Maloney and Fossella announced last week.


"The Administration said they'd have a 9/11 health plan by February of this year, but it looks like it's going to take an act of Congress to get them to release it," said Congresswoman Maloney. "I am once again incredibly thankful for Chairman Dave Obey's leadership on this issue and for the compassion he's extended to thousands of Americans suffering from 9/11-related illnesses."

Fossella said, "Congress is calling on the federal government to finalize a plan to monitor and treat all those who are sick or injured as a result of the terror attacks. We need a final plan of action to ensure that those who need medical monitoring and care have access to it."

The relevant sections of the Appropriations Committee's report include the following (click here for a full copy of the report ):

"The Committee is concerned that, more than five years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. and after multiple requests from Members of Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services still has not developed a long-term, comprehensive plan to medically monitor all individuals who were exposed to the toxins at the World Trade Center (WTC) site following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and provide comprehensive medical services for those experiencing illnesses or injuries as a result of the WTC exposures.

"Accordingly, the Committee directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services, together with the Director of NIOSH, and in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, to submit a report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, and relevant authorizing committees, that includes a long-term, comprehensive Federal plan for monitoring, screening, analysis, and medical treatment for all individuals who were exposed to the toxins at the World Trade Center site, using a centers of excellence model of service delivery, as already established under the current program.

"This plan shall also address issues of long-term medical care, worker compensation, income security, and disability benefits for affected individuals and liability issues for the city of New York and its contractors. The Committee intends that this plan take into account all affected individuals, including emergency rescue, recovery, and clean up personnel; volunteers who responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center, including police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and transit workers; and other individuals who lived, worked, or attended school, child care, or adult day care in the New York City disaster area; and any other individuals whom the Secretary determines to be appropriate for inclusion. The report shall include annual and long-term cost estimates of providing monitoring, screening, analysis, medical treatment, workers' compensation, income security, and disability services.

"In addition, the report shall include recommendations for new legislation, as appropriate, and be submitted not later than four months after the enactment of this Act."

Background

06/07/07 - Reps. Maloney and Fossella Applaud $50 Million for 9/11 Health in House Appropriations Bill

05/25/07 - Senators and Representatives Welcome Approval of $50 Million for 9/11 Health Funding

04/27/07 - NY Area Senators, Reps Demand 9/11 Health Plan Answers from Bush Administration

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

07/13/06 - Maloney, Fossella Ask Health Czar for Progress Report on Response to 9/11 Health Crisis

04/12/06 - Reps. Maloney, Fossella and Shays Demand 9/11 Responder Health Treatment Plan NOW
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