Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today announced that he is including $2.86 billion for the 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better Act, which will be marked up next week. The Program provides no-cost medical monitoring and treatment for certified WTC-related health conditions to those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks in New York, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
While the program has been extended by Congress until 2090, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that this vital program will face a projected funding shortfall starting in 2025. The legislation will address this shortfall and provide stability for the more than 110,000 individuals who depend on the program. This funding will also cover the 10 percent that New York City currently pays for this program.
“As we prepare to remember the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country, we must renew our commitment to never forget the sacrifices first responders made on that day and the survivors who continue to endure the physical and emotional trauma. This funding is essential to ensuring that we fulfill our obligation to the individuals who require medical care,” Pallone said. “We can never fully repay the debt of gratitude we owe to responders and survivors, but we can make sure that we do all we can to make sure they have access to the medical care they rightfully deserve. We will never forget the sacrifices they have made in service to our nation.”
Pallone has been a longtime advocate for first responders and survivors of the attacks on September 11, 2001. He negotiated House passage of the bipartisan James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 that was signed into law in 2011 and that established the World Trade Center Health Program and the Nationwide Provider Network. The bill also established the World Trade Center Program clinic at Rutgers’ Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) in Piscataway that has treated thousands of first responders and survivors. As Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Pallone helped secure reauthorization of the bill in 2015. As Chairman, Pallone fought for and secured an increase in enrollment numbers for the World Trade Center Health Program after the Department of Health and Human Services notified Congress that the program had reached 80 percent of capacity in 2019.