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9/11 Health Bill Fails to Move Forward

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:59 pm    Post subject: 9/11 Health Bill Fails to Move Forward
From Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:00 am to Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:59 am (included)
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For Immediate Release: September 28, 2008

Contacts: Jon Houston (Maloney), 202-225-3703

Ilan Kayatsky (Nadler), 212-367-7350

Jon Taets (Fossella), 202-225-3371

Carol Danko (King), 202-225-7896

9/11 Health Bill Fails to Move Forward

Washington, D.C., Sept. 28 – Today, New York Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Vito Fossella (R-NY), and Peter King (R-NY) announced their regret that H.R. 7174, the revised bipartisan 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, will not be able to move to passage during the last days of the current House session.

“We thank Speaker Pelosi and her staff as well as the House Energy and Commerce and House Judiciary Committees and their staffs for their tremendous effort to try to move this legislation through this session which would help those who, fully seven years after the 9/11 attacks, still don’t have the health care and support they need,” they said.

“We will work together in the future to try to address this failure and meet the sizable need to care for those who lived and worked in the immediate area around ground zero—not to mention those who helped in the immediate aftermath,” the Members concluded.

The lawmakers had made changes to the bill, H.R. 7174, to reduce its overall cost and pave the way for a House vote. The $10.9 billion bill had been fully paid for through revenue offsets.

Upon reintroducing the bill, the New York lawmakers had released the following joint statement:

“Thousands lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, but in the years that followed thousands more lost their health. This bill provided proper care to those who are suffering and demonstrates that America will not abandon its moral responsibility to care for those who were harmed by the terrorist attacks on our nation. We thank Speaker Pelosi and our colleagues in the New York delegation for their commitment to the cause.”


For more information, including actual bill language, click here.

Fact Sheet on 9/11 Health Issues and H.R. 7174:

What is the problem?

● Thousands of first responders and others exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero are now sick and need our help. These include New York firefighters, EMTs and police, construction workers, clean-up workers, residents, area workers, and school children, among others.

● Although most of these people live in the New York/New Jersey area, at least 10,000 people came from around the country to help in the aftermath of the attacks. They hail from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district. Many are sick and others are very concerned about their health.

● Their illnesses include respiratory and gastrointestinal system conditions such as asthma, interstitial lung disease, chronic cough and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

● More than 400,000 people are believed to have been exposed to toxins from the World Trade Center site.

● Nearly 16,000 responders and at least 2,700 community members are currently sick and receiving treatment. More than 40,000 responders are currently in medical monitoring. 71,000 individuals are enrolled in the WTC Health Registry.

● Those who suffered economic losses as a result of their WTC-related illnesses need and deserve compensation, but have no alternative to the current litigation system.

● The WTC Contractors and the City of New York are being sued by over 10,000 people who are sick because of Ground Zero toxins. They face great financial loss because they were asked to help at Ground Zero in the country’s time of need.

H.R. 7174 would address the 9/11 health crisis by:

● Providing medical monitoring and treatment to WTC responders and community members (area workers, residents, students and others) who were exposed to toxins released at Ground Zero.

● Building on the existing monitoring and treatment program by delivering expert medical treatment for these unique exposures at Centers of Excellence.

● Providing for research into WTC-related health conditions.

● Reopening the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for economic losses and harm as an alternative to the current litigation system.

● Providing liability protections for the WTC contractors and the City of New York.
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