Payne Backs Effort to Permanently Extend Health and Compensation Programs for Ailing 9/11 Heroes

Sep 11, 2015 Issues: Health Care

Washington, D.C. – Today, on the 14th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) announced his support for the bipartisan James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1786). The bill would permanently extend the Victim Compensation Fund and World Trade Center Health Program, which provides health care to 9/11 responders and survivors in all 50 states, including 275 in New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District. Police and fire departments from across the country aided in the 9/11 response, including 127 responders from New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District.

“Unless Congress takes action, the 275 first responders and survivors I represent will be without the medical monitoring and health care they need,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “We cannot abandon these individuals by allowing the World Trade Center Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund to expire. They have endured numerous life-threatening ailments, and we have an obligation to honor their sacrifices by permanently extending the Zadroga Act."

Last week, dozens of first responders and survivors reunited at Ground Zero to call on Congress to permanently extend the Zadroga Act.

On January 2, 2011, President Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (H.R. 847) into law. The Zadroga Act’s two critical programs providing medical treatment and compensation for 9/11 heroes—the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund—are set to shut down and stop providing medical care and compensation this Congress.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, cosponsored by Congressman Payne, Jr., would:

  • Continue the World Trade Center Health Program
  • Continue to provide monitoring and treatment for communities throughout the nation
  • Continue the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
  • Make the programs permanent
  • Continue New York City’s cost share
  • Continue to research new conditions that may be attributed to long-term proximity to Ground Zero

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