Lawmakers, Advocates Call on Bush for 9/11 Health Funds - @

Lawmakers, Advocates Call on Bush for 9/11 Health Funds


E.B. Solomont | | Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NEW YORK -- New York lawmakers and health advocates called on President Bush Sunday to increase federal funds to programs that monitor and treat ailing ground zero rescue and recovery workers.

Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler appealed to Mr. Bush a day before his State of the Union address, scheduled for this evening. In addition to funds for health care programs, the legislators said the president should restart a proposed national "processing center," scrapped last month, that would have consolidated funding of health programs for those who responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

"I am outraged that they suddenly canceled a request for proposals to provide medical care to the thousands of brave Americans who came to ground zero from all across the country after the collapse of the World Trade Center," Mr. Nadler said at a news conference. "This is unacceptable, and an extension of this government's continued malfeasance since 9/11."

For six years, health issues stemming from the attacks have competed with concerns about economic development at ground zero. Local elected officials, including Mr. Nadler, Ms. Maloney, Rep. Vito Fossella, and senators Clinton and Schumer, have criticized the federal response as insufficient.

"The president will probably mention 9/11 on Monday, but he's unlikely to announce any aid for the heroes who rushed to New York from all around the country to save the lives of others," Ms. Maloney said yesterday.

Last year, Mr. Bush requested $25 million for September 11-related health care in his fiscal year 2008 budget. Congress appropriated $50 million in the Iraq emergency supplemental bill and another $108 million in a fiscal year 2008 omnibus bill.

In August, New York City health officials published two studies linking rescue and recovery work at the World Trade Center site to asthma and post-traumatic stress disorder. One in eight rescue workers enrolled in the World Trade Center health registry suffered from PTSD as a result of working at the site of the terrorist attacks, researchers concluded. In another study, researchers found that some 3.6% of rescue and recovery workers reported developing asthma after working at the site.

At yesterday's news conference, convened near the World Trade Center site, lawmakers appeared with people suffering from September 11-related illnesses. "Sit down and meet with myself or some of the responders when we're there tomorrow," a paramedic who said he suffers from PTSD and asthma, Marvin Bethea, said, referring to Mr. Bush.

"They are living proof of the need for continuing funding for all first responders who labored at the World Trade Center site for months," the president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association of New York City, John McDonnell, said.

In September, Ms. Maloney and Messrs. Nadler and Fossella introduced the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would provide comprehensive monitoring and treatment to individuals exposed to toxins at ground zero. It also would reopen the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Legal and Ethical, Operations and Protcols, Training

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Press Conference, East Village Explosion and Collapse

Fire is contained to four buildings; 12 people have been injured.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Mayor Adds Ambulances to Peak Demand Period

10 additional ambulances will be on the streets from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Utah Commission Privatizes Ambulance Service

Mayors in Iron County loose management fight.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Delay Raises Concerns over Response Times

Officers give up after waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Patient Carry during Snowstorm

Firefighters, medics and officers lend a hand in Halifax.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Terror Attack in Tunisia

19 people killed outside of a museum.
More >