December 22, 2010

Statement From Senator Manchin Regarding the 9/11 Health Bill

Sen. Joe Manchin today released the following statement regarding the passage of H.R.847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, by unanimous consent:
“I strongly supported this legislation because it provides critical care for the tens of thousands of 9/11 first responders, who were exposed to highly toxic dust. We will never forget the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and we should not forget about those who bravely answered our nation’s call that day - our firefighters and emergency personnel.”
Additional Background regarding H.R.847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010:
·            In many cases, the exposure of the massive, highly toxic plume of dust from the collapse of the Twin Towers resulted in serious respiratory illnesses and related conditions. 
·            According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 53,352 responders and nearly 5,000 community participants in the WTC health programs, including: Fire Department of New York Responders - 15,721; General Responders (inside New York City area) - 33,446; National Responders (outside New York City area) - 4,185; and, community participants – 4,798. Please note: There are 10 responders from West Virginia that may be affected by this legislation.
·            This legislation provides funding for a health program to monitor and treat responders and community residents for health conditions related to the terrorist attacks. 
·            The Reid-Coburn agreement cuts the cost of the 9/11 bill from $6.2 billion to $4.2 billion, cutting the amount that can be paid to attorneys suing for compensation and also includes new controls to avoid waste, fraud and abuse. The bill does not add to the deficit.
·            The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act will establish the World Trade Center Health Program. It also reopens the September 11, 2001 Victim Compensation Fund to provide monetary compensation for those physically injured by the attacks or by response activities and debris removal.