Congress: Pass the 9/11 Health & Compensation Act

September 21, 2010

The 9/11 Heath & Compensation Act would ensure medical treatment and compensation for 9/11 responders and other survivors.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (H.R.847) — named for a 9/11 responder whose death has been attributed to exposure to toxic dust and debris at the Ground Zero site — will help ensure medical treatment and compensation for 9/11 responders and other survivors, including firefighters, police officers and clean-up workers, as well as area residents and workers adversely affected by the attacks.

The New York Times reported that Detective Zadroga’s father, Joseph Zadroga, said he was pleased the bill was named after his son. “It’s an important issue because of the first responders,” he said. “They’re not getting the proper care that they should be getting.”

The bill was defeated earlier this year when some Representatives complained that it would create a new entitlement program and waste taxpayer dollars, and objected to the inclusion of undocumented workers who helped respond to and clean up 9/11 sites.

However, the bill will be voted on again soon, possibly even this week , so we need you to email your Representative, urging her/him to support it.

Under international human rights laws and standards, victims of crimes such as the attacks of September 11have a right to reparations, including medical care and compensation. Passing H.R. 847 would be a crucial step toward fulfilling this right.

It is shocking that U.S. government representatives would turn their backs on the very people who put their lives on the line to be involved in rescue, recovery and clean up efforts.  It amounts to nothing less than revictimizing people already traumatized by the attacks.  Nine years later, it is long past time to move beyond the rhetoric of being in  “solidarity” with victims, and actually pass the laws and adequately fund the programs that victims not only need, but have a right to.