A group of September 11 first responders and other concerned citizens recently took a trip to Washington, D.C. to try to convince lawmakers to continue funding the James Zadroga Act.
The Zadroga Act covers medical expenses for anyone who worked at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. If congress decides that it will not renew funding for the legislation, it will expire in October 2016. However, proponents of extending funding for the act say that Ground Zero responders are still discovering health conditions associated with working among the rubble. The WTC Health Program has already certified 67 cancers linked by NIOSH to the toxic dust. Autoimmune diseases are currently being studied and could be added as soon.
This most recent group that went to Washington to petition congress was led by John Feal of the Feal Good Foundation and Michael McPhillips, a former New York Waterway captain. Their goal is to convince congress to extend the act for another 25 years. In this trip, they focused on convincing new Republican members of congress to see their side.
Two Republican representatives, Lee Zeldin and Peter King, say that they will co-sponsor an extension bill and will work diligently to get other representatives on board with their plan. One attempt to extend the act has already failed, but Feal says he has received promises that both parties would work together to extend the act. His best estimate is that Congress would need $12 billion to fund the extension of the act over the course of the first decade.
If you have developed an illness as a result of working at or near Ground Zero in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, consult the experienced New York Zadroga Act attorneys at Barasch, McGarry, Salzman & Penson. Our law firm represents more 9/11 victims before the Victim Compensation Fund than any other firm in the country.