2015 Renewal Legislation
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announce the introduction of the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act” on April 14th, 2015, along with Senators Schumer, Kirk, Members of Congress Nadler and King along with President of the International Association of Fire Fighters Harold Schaitberger.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act
Unless Congress acted and reauthorized the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act those sickened by Ground Zero toxins would have stopped getting the health care and compensation they need and deserve by the fall of 2016.
On April 14th 2015, legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 1786 and in the United States Senate, S. 928 , and the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015”, to renew and make permanent the Health and Compensation programs that are helping thousands of injured and ill 9/11 Responders and Survivors. The legislation was introduced in by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Peter King (R-NY) along with 49 other original bi-partisan and in the Senate by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and 9 other Senators.
“Remembering 9/11” and making sure that all injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors have the medical treatment and help for their injuries and illness they should have should be something that even dysfunctional Washington should be able to agree on.
But in the past there were many in Congress who would say they “Remember 9/11,” but who would not support getting help to the heroes and survivors. Injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors, their families and supporters had to fight for years to get the original James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act passed in 2010. With the law beginning to expired in September of 2015 and the programs it created, the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund would shut down by the by October of 2016 leaving thousands without the specialized health care they need and thousands more without the compensation for their injuries that they deserve.
With and lot of work by a lot of responders, survivors and their supporters, the legislation HR 1786 / S. 928, eventually gained overwhelming support with 272 cosponsors in the house, 80 Republicans and all 192 Democrats, and 69 cosponsors in the Senate with 23 Republicans and all 46 Democratic Senators.
These members didn’t just say we should “Remember 911” they took action.
Because of their overwhelming bipartisan support by so many Representatives, the Congress passed legislation in December 2015 that President Obama signed into law that made the World Trade Center Health Program permanent so that injured responders and survivors can get the health care that they need and extends the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for another 5 years and provides more funding for it so that those injured can get the full help they need.
Here is Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act’s statement on the inclusion of the reauthorization in the must pass “Omnibus” legislation.
Below is information on the new law as well as materials used in pushing the legislation thru Congress:
Summary of the Final James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama
World Trade Center Health Program Section (score $3.5 billion):
Extends the Health Program to 2090 with only minor revisions:
- Adds a requirement that the Administrator provide for an independent peer review of the scientific and technical evidence prior to adding a condition to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions.
- Changes the deadline for the Administrator to act on petitions to add health conditions to within 90 days.
- Sets yearly caps for funding for the health program for the first 10 years and then ties future increases to the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.
- Allows any unexpended funding in each year to be available for use in future years.
- Requires a GAO report every 5 years to ensure program integrity.
- Other technical changes
Victim Compensation Fund Section (score $4.6 billion)
Extends the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for an additional 5 years and adds an additional $4.6 billion to pay claims.
- All applicants that received an award determination letter before the day of enactment will receive the full amount of their award.
- The following caps and limits will apply to any applicant that has not received an award letter by the day of enactment:
- Codification of the legal definition for the exposure area – the area will be the same as that used by the current VCF program but would take an act of Congress to expand the area in the future.
- Non-economic loss awards for cancer claims capped at $250,000.
- Non-economic loss awards for non-cancer claims capped at $90,000.
- The yearly salary maximum for the calculation of economic awards capped at $200,000/year.
- Minimum payments will no longer be provided.
- The Special Master is required to re-evaluate the policies once a year to ensure that spending and award determinations prioritize those suffering from the most debilitating conditions.
- Other technical changes.
List of Cosponsors of Legislation
House Dear Colleague 11/3/15
Senate Sponsors Dear Colleague 11/2/15
One Page Summary of Original Draft of Legislation 11/2/15
CRS Section by Section of Original Draft of Legislation 4/30/15
Fact Sheet on Statistics on the 9/11 Health Crisis
Below are the Organizations that have joined to support and fight for sick and dying 9/11 Responders and Survivors. Your organization can join the coalition here.
9/11 First Responders Are Finally Receiving Due Compensation
CityLab, March 3, 2016
Payment finally rendered
NY Daily News, March 3, 2016
EDITORIAL: Renewed Zadroga Act should be permanent
Niagra Gazette, December 19, 2015
The Record: Zadroga Act
Record, December 19, 2015
Roll of honor in passing the Zadroga bill for ailing 9/11 responders
NY Daily News, December 17, 2015
Letters in Support
11/10/15 International Association of Fire Chiefs
11/9/15 Municipalities in support of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act
9/29/15 Fraternal Order Of Police of Florida
9/17/15 Partnership for the City of NY
9/14/15 AFL-CIO Letter to House
6/9/15 Federal Law Enforcement Officer Association
4/27/15 National Troopers Coalition
Documents and Material on Renew 911 Health Legislation
7/16/15 Out-of-State Responders who Participated in WTC Rescue & Recovery Operations
6/5/15 Responder/Survivor WTCHP Participation
6/5/15 Out-of-State Responders who Participated in WTC Rescue & Recovery Operations