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9/11 health care for our community is threatened

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Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:56 am    Post subject: 9/11 health care for our community is threatened
From Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:00 am to Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:59 am (included)
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In less than 2 weeks, the 9/11 health bill (HR 847) which was co-authored by Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Nadler, is heading into a vote in the House Health Subcommittee. Mrs. Maloney and Mr. Nadler, who have been fighting to protect 9/11 health care for the community as well as for responders, NEED YOUR SUPPORT NOW!

We are asking that you call and/or email their offices ASAP
Please state your support for HR 847 and the 9/11 community medical program and your opposition to any cuts that would eliminate or harm that program. This will only take a few minutes!

US Rep Carolyn Maloney:202 225-7944
If you live in the 14th District, please use this link to email: http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_email_form&Itemid=73
Outside 14th District, please use this link:http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_email_form&task=nondist&Itemid=105
US Rep Jerrold Nadler: 202 225-5635
Please use this link to email: http://jerroldnadler.house.gov/Forms/WriteYourRep/

Sample Message

I am a Lower Manhattan (resident, student, worker or 9/11 responder)
I support HR 847, which would guarantee tracking and treatment for those who are sick as a result of 9/11, whether they were responders or area residents, students and workers.
The 9/11 community medical program is a critical resource for our community and deserves your full support.
We urge you to continue to do everything in your power to protect the community program from any further cuts in the House Health Subcommittee.

If you are a constituent, please say so. If you have a personal story relating to your current need or potential future need for 9/11 medical care, or if you are currently a patient at the WTC Environmental Health Center, please tell them.

Also consider contacting US Rep Eliot Engel and US Rep Anthony Weiner, NY Congressmen who sit on the House Health Subcommittee and the leading Republican co-sponsor of the 9/11 health bill, US Rep Peter King. US Rep Eliot Engel: 202 225-2464 US Rep Anthony Weiner: 202 225-6616 US Rep Peter King: 202 225-7896

Back Ground Information
The bill, HR 847, would provide 9/11 health care to 9/11 responders AND to the affected community -- affected area residents, worker and students as well as those caught in the initial collapse of the buildings. Many community leaders, as well as NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, have serious concerns that the program that provides health care to the community for 9/11-related illnesses may be ELIMINATED or suffer harmful cuts in the House Health Subcommittee. Please see below, the Battery Park City Broadsheet article detailing a recent resolution being considered by all Lower Manhattan Community Boards that opposes these cuts.

BATTERY PARK CITY BROADSHEET DAILY: 9/11 health care for Lower Manhattan residents threatened
9/11 health care for Lower Manhattan residents threatened
Reps. Maloney and Nadler urged to fight to retain community health care funding

Battery Park City as it looked on Sept. 11, 2001. (Det. Greg Semendinger/NYC Police Aviation Unit)

Although the Obama Administration has appropriated $150 million for 9/11 health programs for fiscal year 2011, the New York Congressional delegation and community activists say that the appropriation is inadequate. Future 9/11 health funding would not be mandatory. A bill known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (HR-847) now in front of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee calls for long-term federal funding for 9/11 health programs, but parts of it could be gutted to make the bill palatable when it reaches the House floor. Representative Frank J. Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), who chairs the Health subcommittee, mentioned health funding for residents affected by Ground Zero as being particularly vulnerable to cuts.

Last Monday, Community Board 1's World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee unanimously passed a resolution addressing these issues. "We cannot accept the notion that civilians targeted in the WTC attacks who are now sick...are less needful or deserving of health care for their 9/11-related illnesses than first responders," the resolution says.

The resolution goes on to say that "In a January 22, 2010 Letter to US Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver expressed his concern regarding possible attempts to eliminate or diminish the Community Program in the upcoming markup of the 9/11 health bill," and urged Reps. Maloney and Nadler to "do everything in your power to protect the Community Program, which is a resource vital to the health of Lower Manhattan residents and to ensure that its scope, quality and level of support are preserved."

The Community Board 1 resolution observes that "in the course of negotiations over the bill in the House subcommittee, the 9/11 Community Program has already undergone major reductions to which Community Board 1 has objected."

The resolution ends by calling on the Obama Administration to support mandatory federal funding for 9/11 medical programs and asks Congress to entertain "no further cuts to the Community Program."

The resolution will go before Community Board 1's full board at its next meeting, which is on Feb. 23. A similar resolution is now being considered by Community Boards 2 and 3.

At the World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee meeting on Feb. 8, committee member Tom Goodkind asked, "Without funding, what would happen to the children's clinic?" referring to one now being operated by the WTC Environmental Health Center at Bellevue Hospital on First Avenue and 27th Street.

"It would go away," said Catherine McVay Hughes, chair of the CB1 committee.

"I personally know of dozens of children in our neighborhood who use that clinic," Mr. Goodkind replied.

"That's the purpose of this resolution," said Ms. McVay Hughes, "to make sure that the community component, which is a tiny portion of the entire bill, is included."
- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

For information about the WTC Environmental Health Center (located at Bellevue and Elmhurst Hospitals and at Gouverner Healthcare Services), go to:-
http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/services/wtc-health-center.shtml The Center provides health care with no out of pocket costs to residents, students, workers, or passersby who may still be sick from 9/11.


Craig Hall - World Trade Center Residents Coalition (President)
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