US lawmakers move to help stricken 9/11 workers

Dec 23, 2010

The US Congress voted Wednesday to create a 10-year, four-billion-dollar program to help September 11 emergency workers sickened in the ruins of the worst terrorist attack on US soil.

The Senate and then the House of Representatives passed the measure after a last-minute compromise ended a Republican blockade of the bill in one of the final acts of the Democrat-led .

The measure offers health care and compensation to firefighters, police officers and other who rushed to the scene of the World Trade Center attack in 2001.

Some emergency workers who survived the collapse of the Twin Towers have become sick and even died from ailments like cancer in the nine years since, purportedly from toxic substances contained in the wreckage.

The Senate passed the measure by voice vote, while the House approved it by a 206-60 margin.

Democratic New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand championed the package and worked out a compromise, ending opposition from Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma that delayed and risked derailing the deal.

The breakthrough came after pressure from television personalities, a White House appeal, and heart-rending tales from first-responder campaigners about suffering and deaths from cancer blamed on toxic Ground Zero debris.

"Make no mistake: we're sick and dying, but we are not going away. Merry Christmas," said John Feal, an advocate for September 11 first responders.

"No one has ever questioned whether to provide the care they need. The only question was how to do so," said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"Some have tried to portray this debate as a debate between those who support 9/11 workers and those who don't," he said. "There was never any doubt about supporting the first responders. It was about doing it right."

Almost 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001 when planes hijacked by Al-Qaeda suicide operatives were flown into the World Trade Center, as well as the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

Explore further: Consuming eggs with raw vegetables increases nutritive value

Related Stories

US Congress passes 'fixes' to landmark health law

Mar 26, 2010

The US Congress on Thursday put the final touches on President Barack Obama's historic health overhaul, passing a set of technical changes to the legislation that will define his political legacy.

9/11 rescuers agree huge compensation deal

Nov 19, 2010

More than 10,000 rescue workers sickened by toxic dust and debris after the September 11 attacks Friday accepted a huge 625-million-dollar compensation payout, the government insurer said.

Ground Zero responders have health worries

Jan 19, 2007

Some police officers, firefighters and others who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York City say they are paying for it with their health.

Republicans top Democrats with Facebook fans

Oct 31, 2010

Republicans will have to wait until Tuesday to find out if they make the big gains many expect in the US Congress but they have already beaten the Democrats in another arena -- Facebook.

White House: Dems near accord on health care bill

Feb 18, 2010

(AP) -- The White House and congressional leaders are preparing a detailed health care proposal designed to win passage without Republican support if GOP lawmakers fail to embrace bipartisan compromises at ...

Recommended for you

Exercise can outweigh harmful effects of air pollution

1 hour ago

New research from the University of Copenhagen has found that the beneficial effects of exercise are more important for our health than the negative effects of air pollution, in relation to the risk of premature ...

Morocco confronts abortion taboo with proposed reform

3 hours ago

It was just 7 a.m. and Hoda was walking alone to a clinic in the Moroccan coastal city of Agadir. She skipped breakfast: the Senegalese doctor had told her that the abortion would be better done on an empty ...

Physician/Pharmacist model can improve mean BP

Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Innovative prototype presented for post-ICU patients

Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A collaborative care model, the Critical Care Recovery Center (CCRC), represents an innovative prototype aimed to improve the quality of life of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors, according ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.