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9/11 Responders Fight Proposed Funding Cuts

The five months that EMT Charlie Giles worked at Ground Zero after 9/11 cost him his health and forced him to sell his home to pay medical bills for 13 hospitalizations, he said at a Feb. 27 rally at the U.S. Capitol.

Scores of sick Sept. 11 responders and their families protested the president's proposal to slash funds for the Healthcare for Heroes program from $108 million in fiscal 2008 to $25 million in 2009. Multidisciplinary teams of responders (EMS, fire, police and demolition workers) then visited 38 congressional offices to ask lawmakers to pass HR 3543, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, to provide medical monitoring and treatment to eligible World Trade Center emergency responders, recovery and cleanup workers, and nearby residents.

The FealGood Foundation(www.fealgoodfoundation.com),a non-profit founded by volunteer John Feal, who lost part of his foot while working on the pile, organized the protest and lobbying.

A Thumbs Up to Feal and other 9/11 responders who keep pressing the Bush Administration and Congress to provide for their medical needs. And a big Thumbs Down to those in government who require them to keep doing so.

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