With the 20th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center approaching this Saturday, two members of Congress from New Jersey are highlighting their efforts to expand health care funding and coverage for 9/11 first responders.
Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) announced today that he plans to insert $2.86 billion for the World Trade Center Health Program into the Build Back Better Act, in order to address a projected shortfall beginning in 2025. Pallone has previously used his perch in the House Energy and Commerce Committee to advocate for reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which established the health program in 2010.
“As we prepare to remember the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country, we must renew our commitment to never forget the sacrifices first responders made on that day and the survivors who continue to endure the physical and emotional trauma,” Pallone said in a statement. “This funding is essential to ensuring that we fulfill our obligation to the individuals who require medical care.”
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), meanwhile, lauded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their planned study of whether to add uterine cancer to the list of conditions covered by the program. In late July, Sherrill led a group of 21 New York City-area Congressmembers – among them six New Jerseyans – calling for a “speedy decision” on the issue.
“First responders and survivors who’ve battled the burden of uterine cancer have endured a 20 year wait without adequate recognition or medical support, but we’re making progress to fix that,” Sherrill said. “I look forward to this matter appearing before the Scientific Technical Advisory Committee and am hoping for a rapid decision to finally ensure equitable coverage for these brave women.”