Workers who responded to 9/11 and its clean up ask Congress for health care funds
? Congressional hearings began in lower Manhattan Friday to address medical care for chronically ailing 9/11 volunteers.
A Mt. Sinai Medical Center study claims that poor air quality at ground zero after the terrorist attacks caused thousands to develop new or worsened respiratory problems. Victims say problems developed despite assurances at the time from the NYC and federal governments that the air quality was not a health concern. Respirators were made available, but officials initially told the rescuers not to use them. Governor George Pataki (R-NY) claims the EPA misled him.
Others ask that the blame game be played at a future date. Those at the hearing seek increased federal funding to provide comprehensive medical care and say this should be Congress? focus. The costs of a wide-ranging health program are unknown and some say the $75 million already provided by Congress is only a fraction of what will be needed to sustain treatment for life-long ailments.
Related Information Seventy percent of 9/11 first responders suffer respiratory problems