Maloney Celebrates As Zadroga Law Goes Into Effect
Ending nearly 10 years of struggle, during which countless obstacles were overcome, the health programs provided by the federal government to treat people injured or made ill by the events which occurred on 9/11 went into effect on July 1.
Signaling the start of treatment for about 36,000 people, Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) and Jerrold Nadler (D–Manhattan), authors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which authorizes the treatment programs, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, the site of one of seven Centers of Excellence in the New York City area created under the law to operate the treatment programs.
“To the victims of 9/11, we have great news: today the Zadroga Act is taking effect and 9/11 clinics are officially open for business under the new law,” Maloney announced jubilantly.
“This is an historic milestone for the more than 36,000 people who have become ill because of the terrible events of 9/11,” the lawmaker declared “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,” Maloney continued, “$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.”
Maloney then offered her thanks and gratitude to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, her colleagues in the New York delegation, especially her co-authors, Congressmember Nadler and Congressmember Peter King (R–C-Long Island), her friends in the labor movement, and the 9/11 responders and survivors who fought for so long to pass the Zadroga Act.
Nadler stated, “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.”
The Zadroga law provides health and care for those who were injured or exposed to toxins 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.