Statement on 3rd Anniversary of the Passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.
Today is the 3rd Anniversary of the passage by Congress of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Although it was only three years ago, we should remember how difficult it was to get Congress to finally act and address the health effects of the 9/11 attacks. When the Congress finally acted, they established a program for comprehensive medical care for the Responders and Survivors who were injured and made ill by the toxins at Ground Zero, and they reopened the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for economic losses for those illnesses and injuries for Responders, Survivors and their families.
Since the legislation was signed by President Obama, the World Trade Center Health Program, under the direction of Dr. John Howard, is now providing health care and medical monitoring for injured World Trade Center Responders and Survivors and for Responders to the Pentagon and the Shanksville crash sites. The program has added over 4,200 more Responders and Survivors since it started in July 1, 2011 with a total of over 65,000 program participants. This includes hundreds that are now getting treated for covered cancers, including prostrate cancer that was just added to the list of covered cancers, and more than 15,000 Responders and Survivors that that have received medical treatment for the full range of covered conditions in the last year.
The World Trade Center Health Program has made major progress in meeting the goals of the legislation passed three years ago today, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund has yet to meet our expectations. While the VCF has registered many thousands of responders and survivors, the program has been slow to provide final determinations.
911 Health Watch will continue to actively monitor both the health program and the VCF and to offer suggestions on how these programs can be improved. The many people who have suffered as a result of the 9/11 attacks deserve excellent and responsive medical and compensation programs.