Program for illnesses tied to 9/11 ends today; Menendez calls for extension of Zadroga Act

Program for illnesses tied to 9/11 ends today; Menendez calls for extension of Zadroga Act


By:  Herb Jackson
The Record


Unless Congress acts, today will be the last day people will be able to enroll in a federally funded health care program covering illnesses caused by exposure to the toxic substances released when the World Trade Center towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.

The program, named after the late New York City police detective and North Arlington native James Zadroga, is set to expire today unless Congress renews it. Supporters say they are working to do that, but it's unclear if it will happen in time.

Patients already receiving care will continue to do so until funding appropriated in previous years runs out — but at some point they will get notices saying they can no longer see their doctors.

"Jim was the first emergency worker to die directly as a result of health effects from working at Ground Zero," Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat from Paramus, said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "Let's not wait for a public outcry before we ensure these heroes receive the care and support they deserve."

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