2018-03-14 / Front Page

9/11 Health Bill Sponsors, Tri-State Area Delegation Tell Mulvaney: Hands Off 9/11 Health Program

9/11 Health Program beneficiaries and advocates came together at the Capitol on March 5 to demand that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney withdraw his “ill-thought out proposal” to separate the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) from National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) direction. Congress Members Carolyn B. Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King, the original sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015 were joined by 9/11 victims, TV personality and leading 9/11 health advocate Jon Stewart, union leaders, and medical professionals to discuss the importance of the WTCHP and the dangers removing it from NIOSH will cause. Stewart said, “Haven’t these people endured enough? If 9/11 cancer doesn’t kill them, I am pretty sure your politics will.”

Photo Phi Nguyen9/11 Health Program beneficiaries and advocates came together at the Capitol on March 5 to demand that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney withdraw his “ill-thought out proposal” to separate the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) from National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) direction. Congress Members Carolyn B. Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King, the original sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015 were joined by 9/11 victims, TV personality and leading 9/11 health advocate Jon Stewart, union leaders, and medical professionals to discuss the importance of the WTCHP and the dangers removing it from NIOSH will cause. Stewart said, “Haven’t these people endured enough? If 9/11 cancer doesn’t kill them, I am pretty sure your politics will.” Photo Phi NguyenCongress Members Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Peter King (R-NY), the original sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015 led on March 7 a bipartisan group of 32 other members from the Tri-State Area in urging Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney to withdraw his proposal to separate the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) from the National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH).

In the letter, the members state, “This proposal directly contradicts the bipartisan legislation Congress passed just three years ago with overwhelming support to renew the World Trade Center Health Program for 75 years. It will further unnecessarily put at risk the health of our constituents and those around the country suffering, and in too many cases dying, from their 9/11-related injuries, 17 years later. We urge you to withdraw it.”

Under NIOSH, the WTCHP has provided medical monitoring and treatment to more than 83,000 9/11 responders and survivors, including responders to the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville crash site, as well as survivors from Lower Manhattan and North West Brooklyn. These 83,000-plus live in and receive treatment across the country, in all 50 states and territories, in 433 of 435 congressional districts.

 The letter states that “NIOSH has been at the forefront of responding to the injuries caused by the toxins at Ground Zero,” and it “has made tremendous progress in providing medical monitoring and treatment to 9/11 responders and survivors.

“Yet this ill-advised proposal, which was made with no input from the 9/11 health community, completely ignores the years of work NIOSH has already done and reflects a lack of understanding of why we worked to have NIOSH supervise and manage the WTC Health Program. If you had spoken to those with experience in the 9/11 health community, you would have understood that the World Trade Center Health Program is fully integrated within NIOSH, utilizing the expertise of the staff in many shared positions that could not be continued if the Health Program were to be pulled from NIOSH. For example, the program is in the process of changing its prescription benefit provider. This is a complex process that requires careful coordination to avoid program members, especially cancer patients, missing their medications. Moving the WTC Health Program from NIOSH would be unnecessarily disruptive. 

“None of the Office of Management and Budget documents describe how the WTC Health Program would be untangled from NIOSH, nor do they address how this change would be achieved without negatively impacting the health of the 9/11 responders and survivors who rely on the WTC Health Program.

“We believe that OMB should withdraw this misguided proposal immediately.”

Additional signers of the letter include Joe Crowley, Adriano Espaillat, Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Nydia Velázquez, in addition to 26 other bipartisan representatives.

 

 

 


 

 

 

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