There are currently 117,000 9/11 first responders and survivors enrolled in the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program – most of them union members.
The program offers free health care for chronic health conditions resulting from exposure to Ground Zero toxins, including cancer, respiratory and aerodigestive illnesses, acute traumatic injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, and mental health conditions.
Yet the health program – which has saved lives and rescued families from medical bankruptcy – has not been fully funded, and confronts an estimated $3 billion deficit by 2032.
Without additional funding, the WTC Health Program will need to reduce services and stop accepting new members in two years.
The deficit occurred after substantial increases in enrollment and with a higher than expected number of 9/11 first responders and survivors developing cancer.
About 36% of WTC Health Program members certified for an illness have been diagnosed with cancer.
As members of the 9/11 community, we cannot allow these potential service reductions or eligibility limits to undermine our access to health care.
Thankfully, a bipartisan group in Congress has introduced the “9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act,” (S. 2683/H.R.4965), which would fund the WTC Health Program through 2090.
Only 12 of the 100 members of the Senate and fewer than 100 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, however, have co-sponsored the bill.
We need your help.
We urge you to contact your representatives in Congress and demand their support for the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act.
The bill would create a research program to study the impact of the toxic exposures and psychological trauma on the 35,000 people who were children on 9/11 and were living or attending school or daycare in Lower Manhattan.
The health program provides medical treatment and monitoring for responders and survivors from the World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville, PA, crash site.
Barasch & McGarry has advocated for the federal government to fully fund both the health program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).
If you were in Lower Manhattan below Canal Street on 9/11 or during the eight following months, you are eligible to register with the 9/11 VCF – even if you are currently healthy.
If you were below Houston Street or in parts of western Brooklyn and are diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness, you are eligible to enroll in the WTC Health Program.
The health program offers enormous benefits, with members experiencing cancer mortality rates that are 34 percent lower than demographically similar New York State residents with cancer, according to the FDNY WTC Health Program Clinical Center – with even better results for prostate cancer and colon cancer.
By registering and enrolling, you protect your right to access free health care and compensation in the future.
Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, which represents more than 30,000 members of the 9/11 community, has proudly advocated for union members for more than twenty-five years.
Visit www.911unions.com or call 800-314-0683 today.