On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, New York lawmakers aim to fill a $2.86 billion funding gap in the treatment program for ill first responders and survivors who worked at Ground Zero.
According to the New York Daily News, the 9/11 healthcare program was fully funded by Congress in 2015. Still, recently, enrollments have surged due to chronic illnesses that are difficult and expensive to treat. In the program, 24,000 people have died from cancer.
Support for the program comes from the New York delegation, Democrats, and House lawmakers. That legislation would change how the 9/11 healthcare program is funded in correlation with medical inflation.
“We couldn’t plan for it. We thought we had it fully funded to 2019 — we now have it funded to 2025. That’s not enough. We need to get it funded now,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer would echo the program’s impact that supports first responders and those harmed by the attack.
“They were firefighters and police officers and first responders. They were average folks, people who worked in the kitchens, people who worked in the financial industry, people who worked in the government. They were heroes. They were average New Yorkers doing their work doing their jobs,” Schumer said.