Mulvaney, feds stay put on plan to restructure 9/11 health agency

A planned federal budget is set to go ahead without revision despite pleas from lawmakers and September 11th health advocates and World Trade Center recovery workers that the budget proposals will greatly damage the World Trade Center Health Program, reports Thomas Tracy in the New York Daily News.

Currently, the World Trade Center Health Program has always operated under the auspices of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH personnel and doctors know about World Trade Center illnesses. The proposed federal 2019 budget would put the Health Program under the control of the Centers for Disease Control, forcing recovery workers sickened from their time at the World Trade Center site to deal with an entirely new set of officials and medical personnel, none of whom know anything about the program, the illnesses or the care.

Despite an outcry by nearly everyone impacted by the proposed change, Mulvaney will not stop the move.

The federal government isn’t budging on its plans to rejigger the agency that oversees the health treatment and monitoring of first responders with 9/11 illnesses — a move legislators feel will severely compromise both the program and the people who need it to survive.

The proposed federal 2019 budget has yet to be approved.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Peter King and  Rep. Jerrold Nadler wrote a letter, stating in part, “Health care for thousands of 9/11 first responders and survivors would be severely disrupted if the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the experts who work there are no longer able to oversee the World Trade Center Health Program as the Congress organized it and just three years ago overwhelmingly reauthorized with bipartisan support.”

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