Nearly half of Congress passed up the opportunity to vote for a 9/11 first responders health care bill, despite the fact that the majority of bills they vote on invoke the September 11th attacks in some way. The bill passed anyway, and is cleared for President Obama’s signature. The final enrolled version of the bill outlines the background, need for such a bill, and provisions regulating who and what kind of care will be given, at no cost to recipients. Officially named the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, Congress passed it 206-60, with 168 members of Congress not voting. [Congressional roll call vote 664, Dec.22.]
James Zadroga, a detective who helped with rescue efforts after 9/11, died in January 2006. There was some controversy though, because the medical examiner claimed that he did not die as a direct result of the attacks. Several Republicans vocally opposed the bill.
There were seven previous versions of the bill, H.R.847, before it was settled. The bill is comprised of a seemingly endless list of hundreds, if not thousands of pages of explanations, qualifications, background, and technical details which would make the most stringent researcher go crosseyed in a matter of minutes. Readers can visit http://thomas.loc.gov/ and type H.R. 847 in the search box to perouse the pages yourselves.
In the House Committee Report 111-560 for the bill, the ‘Need for Legislation’ section states “The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and Shanksville were an attack on this nation. The Committee believes the federal government has a moral obligation to ensure that those who participated in the rescue and recovery and debris removal and clean-up operations at these sites receive the services necessary to treat the health conditions resulting from their participation. In the case of the World Trade Center site, this obligation extends to those who returned to the affected neighborhoods shortly after the attack to live, work, and go to school and, as a result, were exposed to the toxic dust.”
The bill establishes a “World Trade Center Health Program” as part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to be administered by the ‘WTC Program Administrator’ beginning on July 1, 2011. The program will include “medical monitoring and treatment benefits to eligible emergency responders and recovery and cleanup workers (including those who are Federal employees) who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; initial health evaluation, monitoring, and treatment benefits to residents and other building occupants and area workers in New York City who were directly impacted and adversely affected by such attacks..” as well as outreach, clinical data collection, analysis and research.
Affirming the official government version of events, the Committee report gives a brief background report: “On September 11, 2001, terrorists flying four airplanes attacked the United States. One plane flew into the Pentagon, one crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, en route to Washington, D.C., and two planes were crashed into the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City. The resulting collapse of the Twin Towers (and a third building) killed more than 2,751 people, including 343 firefighters and rescue workers. It also produced `a complex and unprecedented mix of toxic chemicals.”
It goes on to outline the medical problems suffered by the rescrew crews and residents: “The Subcommittee on Health heard testimony from the Director of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine that the following conditions were common among the responders being treated there: sinus disorders, asthma, gastro-esophageal reflux disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and major depression. A study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that firefighters and EMS workers who were at the World Trade Center site during the first two weeks after the attacks lost about 10% of their lung function in the first year, and that this loss persisted during the subsequent 6 years.”
Fifty-nine Republicans voted no on the bill, including ‘Tea Party Caucus’ member Tom McClintock, along with one Democrat, Gene Taylor of Mississippi. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, an occasional critic of 9/11 conspiracy theories, did not vote on the measure.
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Rense, National Motorists Association, and many others. You can view a full archive of his Examiner articles here.