Bill to assist 9/11 survivors with healthcare and compensation defeated
Republican senators blocked Democratic legislation on Thursday that sought to provide medical care to rescue workers and others who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke at the site of the World Trade Center attack in 2001.
Republicans have been raising concerns about how to pay for the $7.4 billion measure, while Democrats, led by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, have argued that there was a moral obligation to assist those who put their lives at risk during rescue and cleanup operations at ground zero.
The bill is formally known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named after a New York police detective who participated in the rescue efforts at ground zero. He later developed breathing complications that were common to first responders at the site, and he died in January 2006. The cause of his death became a source of debate after the city’s medical examiner concluded that it was not directly related to the attacks.
More here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/ny...er=rss&emc=rss
In a statement, the mayor chastised Senate Republicans for their “wrongheaded political strategy” and called on them to allow a floor vote on the bill. “The attacks of 9/11 were attacks on America,” he said, “and we have a collective responsibility to care for the heroes, from all 50 states, who answered the call of duty, saved lives and helped our nation recover.”
The bill calls for providing $3.2 billion over the next eight years to monitor and treat injuries stemming from exposure to toxic dust and debris at ground zero. New York City would pay 10 percent of those health costs.
The bill would also set aside $4.2 billion to reopen the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to provide payments for job and economic losses.
In addition, the bill includes a provision that would allow money from the Victim Compensation Fund to be paid to any eligible claimant who receives a payment under the settlement of lawsuits that 10,000 rescue and cleanup workers recently reached with the city.
Now, those who receive a settlement from the city are limited in how much compensation they can get from the fund, according to the bill’s sponsors.
Apparently the government can't afford $7.4 billion to help 9-11 survivors, but it can afford $75 billion of extra tax cuts for millionnaires... :doh: