Zadroga Bill Passes House Committee

On March 25, 2010, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health voted, 25 to 8, in favor of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009, a bill that would spend $5.1 billion on health care over the next 10 years for people who are ill from their work or proximity to the World Trade Center site. NYC would be liable for 10% of the cost.

The bill would re-open the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, and would establish an emergency council responsible for coordinating care and compensation of the sick.

James Zadroga, for whom the bill is named, was an NYPD detective who died in 2006 of pulmonary fibrosis due to his work at the site. Hundreds of workers from the site have died from a variety of illnesses, and thousands more are sick from the toxins that burned at the World Trade Center site for more than six months. Respiratory, digestive, thyroid, kidney, skin and nerve problems are rampant among recovery workers, first responders, local residents and workers and students from the surrounding area.

The Zadroga bill is controversial, as it does not cover many of the cancers recovery workers are experiencing. Some feel it doesn’t go far enough; others feel it is a start toward treating those diagnosed in connection to the World Trade Center operations.

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