Legislation calling for free medical care for responders of the 9/11 tragedy is expected to go to the Senate today. The bill has already passed through the House of Representatives, resulting in a 268-160 vote. If passed in the Senate, the bill would then go to the House for approval and President Obama could then sign off on it, making it law.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health Bill is named for New York City police detective who was working at Ground Zero in a toxic plume. The 9/11 Health Bill is asking to provide free medical treatment to all responders who spent time at or near Ground Zero. Health experts have been monitoring the effects of Ground Zero exposure in the years following the tragedy and have noted increases in respiratory ailments and mental health conditions in workers involved in the rescue and clean up efforts.
The Democratic Party had tweaked the bill to gain the support of the Republicans. Advocates are hopeful that the promise to never forget those we lost in 9/11 will be carried out. Supporters of the bill rallied in Washington to urge lawmakers to go forward with the bill’s approval. Many NYC police officers and emergency workers who are sick with lung disease and other illness related to the Ground Zero exposure were on hand to ask for the right to live.
The bill calls for a price tag of $6.2 million to be allocated over a 10 year period. The money would come from procurement fees the government gets from foreign countries that trade with the United States, along with visa fess for travelers and businesses coming to the United States.