03-30-2004, 01:50 AM #1
Federal legislation introduced to protect health of ground zero workers
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Federal officials introduced legislation Monday
to provide long-term health care for emergency workers who toiled
at ground zero after the terrorist attack that destroyed the World
The Remember 9/11 Health Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Carolyn
Maloney, a New York Democrat, and Christopher Shays, a Connecticut
Republican, would provide federal health insurance to workers who
were injured or suffered ill health related to the Sept.11 attack
A study by Mount Sinai Medical Center found that about half of
the 9,229 recovery workers tested so far had long-term respiratory
illnesses or other injuries related to their work at the site. More
than 300 firefighters have filed for early retirement because of
illnesses related to the attack.
"We need to send a strong message to rescue workers that you
were there for us on 9-11, we need to be there for any treatment
you need," Maloney said at a news conference.
The federal legislation would excuse recipients from paying for
health care, including for prescription drugs. Physical and
psychological problems would be covered.
The bill also calls for expanding the number of people monitored
to cover at least 40,000 civilians over 20 years; the current
program is designed to track some 12,000 civilians for five years.
The cost of the legislation was unclear.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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