How Health Care for 9/11 Responders became Just Another Political Football

On December 14, 2015, Mike DeBonis, Washington Post writes on December 14, 2015 about the frustrations endured by those hoping that the Zadroga Act is reauthorized.

“When the 9/11 health program was first established five years ago, it came only after a fierce lobbying campaign. Not only did advocates have to deal with questions about the cost of the program, they had to explain to lawmakers why it was necessary and assuage concerns that it would be racked with fraud. One House member attached an amendment insisting that beneficiaries be checked against the FBI’s terrorist watch list.

Today, the importance of the program is not seriously questioned, and it has proven to be a well-run enterprise. The only obstacles, it seems, have been political.

“Everyone said they were for it,” said Maloney […]. “But if everyone’s for it, why couldn’t you pass it? I never met anyone who said, ‘No, we shouldn’t do this.’ Everybody said, ‘Yes, I’m for it.’ But, then they wanted to change certain aspects of it or to limit it or limit the time frame. But it’s the right thing to do, and it’s rare that you get to work on something that is so pure, so right.”

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