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The US Senate passes legislation to inject $676 million into the financially precarious Ground Zero Health Fund

By 07/28/2023 12:29 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


A bill that injects $676 million into the financially precarious 9/11 health care fund, which provides medical care for first responders and others impacted by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, was approved by the US Senate on Thursday.

The bill, which was supported by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer of New York, is anticipated to pass the House of Representatives and be signed by Vice President Biden.

The funds were included in the National Defense Authorization Act as an amendment. According to Gillibrand, “This significant amendment will assist in bridging the funding gap in the World Trade Center Health Program and uphold our promise to care for all those still experiencing 9/11-related illnesses.

The toxic air from the burning twin towers sickened many first responders, city dwellers, employees, and students, including many with cancer and respiratory illnesses.

Senate Majority Leader Schumer declared on the Senate floor that “this amendment is a huge step forward toward ensuring that the first responders and those injured on 9/11 are never left behind.”

“Our first responders, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, FBI agents, and construction workers were just running to danger on 9/11—before the smoke even cleared—and before the rubble even stopped burning.

They were just attempting to perform their jobs and save lives. And 22 years later, the dust, the air, and the chemicals are still making people sick. The nonpartisan 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act of 2023, which was introduced earlier this year by a bipartisan coalition of legislators and 9/11 health program supporters, responders, and survivors, served as the inspiration for the amendment. The Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, sites’ 9/11 responders are now eligible for a part of the cash, totaling $200 million.

The World Trade Center Health Program was established by Congress in 2011. It was renewed in 2015 and given a 2090 expiration date. However, the financing is insufficient to cover the estimated costs of offering the program’s services to the more than 120,000 responders and survivors of 9/11 who come from all 50 states.

Every year, Congress makes up the anticipated funding shortfalls.


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