Dec 17

President's 2011 Budget Includes $150 Million for 9/11 Health Care
Sunday, 28 March 2010 00:00

President Obama’s proposed budget   for fiscal year 2011 includes $150 million “to provide screening and treatment for first response emergency services personnel, residents, students, and others related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.”

This is a $79 million increase from last year’s budget for 9/11 health care. It came shortly after Katherine Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, informed the New York congressional delegation  that the Obama Administration did not support the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act because it requires mandatory annual spending on federal 9/11 health programs.

“We’re heartened that the Obama Administration reportedly plans to more than double the commitment to the vital programs that serve responders and community members facing the health impacts of September 11,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “The terrorist attacks were attacks on the entire country, and there is still an urgent need for a long-term federal commitment to address their health impacts. An increase in appropriations – even one as significant as this – is not the same as long-term federal legislation. But it surely signals the Administration’s commitment to address this issue in a long-term, meaningful manner.”

Congress must still pass the Administration’s proposed budget. In the meantime, members of the New York congressional delegation have requested a meeting with the President as New York City continues its efforts in support of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The legislation is awaiting action in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, pending the outcome of health care reform. The Senate version has been referred to committee.

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