Today, the health programs provided by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act went into effect -- a milestone celebrated by the bill's authors, U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King. Earlier today, Maloney and Nadler attended a ribbon-cutting at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the site of one of seven Centers of Excellence in the New York City area created under the law.
"To the living victims of 9/11, we have great news: today, the Zadroga Act is taking effect and 9/11 health clinics are officially open for business under the new law. This is an historic milestone for the more than 36,000 people who have become ill because of the terrible events of 9/11, and the fulfillment of our moral obligation to care for those who rise to the defense of our nation in a time of war. Starting today, $1.5 billion in guaranteed federal funding will begin flowing to the 9/11 health "Centers of Excellence' at Mt. Sinai and across the city, and 9/11 responders and survivors will begin seeing better access to services and care," said Maloney. "I'm incredibly grateful to Secretary Sebelius, Mayor Bloomberg, my colleagues in the New York delegation -especially my co-authors, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King- my friends in the labor movement, and the 9/11 responders and survivors who fought for so long to pass the Zadroga Act."
"Today represents the culmination of nearly 10 years of work and struggle by so many people, and I am profoundly moved as our bill -- the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act -- goes into effect," said Nadler. "Nearly 10 years ago, the heroes of 9/11 risked their lives and, with phenomenal bravery, ran into burning buildings and smoldering ash to save others. And, for nearly 10 years, they have suffered ill health and death as a result. For so long, we wondered when the federal government would honor its obligations to these heroes of 9/11. Today, we demonstrate concretely, at the site of this incomparable Center of Excellence, that the United States does not forget those who have served."
"Today's events are long overdue. I am proud that this critical legislation will take effect today and deliver on the promise we made to the heroes of Ground Zero. These designated Centers of Excellence will ensure a seamless transition and the continuity of care critical to our responders and survivors," said King.
The Zadroga law provides health care for those injured or exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, and reopens the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide economic relief to those harmed by the attacks. Please click here for a timeline of dates by which the new law will be implemented, and here for a brief fact sheet on the health care and compensation provisions of the law.