What 9/11 First Responders Need Now – New York Daily News

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We take to heart the pledge of Brooklyn Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who, despite juggling the destiny of the nation with a zero-vote margin to spare, promises “we’re going to do it” and fully fund the CDC. World Trade Center Health Program providing medical care to tens of thousands of responders and survivors of the 9/11 attack in New York and America.

Over the years, the number of illnesses caused by exposure to Ground Zero toxins has only increased. Indeed, as the federal Government Accountability Office found in a report just released yesterday, program spending has doubled over the past five years and patient numbers have increased by 50% in that period. And all of this is costing more money than Congress expected. Left unchecked, the looming $3 billion shortfall will mean health care rationing. The remedy: boost the program with the necessary resources for heroes and victims.

Schumer made his commitment when WTC money was not included in his deal with Joe Manchin over the remnants of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better program. Although a little disappointing, there are five months left in this session of Congress. As Schumer said, “We’ll get it. There’s ample opportunity to get it in…other must-have bills.

So doing it in August or September, or even November or December after midterms, is an absolute must. Unlike almost every other issue on the Washington agenda, the medical treatment of the 9/11 community does not concern Democrats and Republicans. Overwhelming majorities from both parties have consistently voted in support of these people, who are suffering and dying as a result of the terrorist attack on this nation.

Cancer and lung disease don’t require party affiliation when they attack firefighters rushing to save others. With WTC patients now living in every state in the union, it’s not a regional issue either.

The physical damage to property caused by the 9/11 attack has long since been repaired downtown. The ongoing physical harm to people continues and requires the best care we can provide.

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