Key Vote Expected Today on 9/11 Health Act

By Tracie Strahan
|  Tuesday, May 25, 2010  |  Updated 5:20 PM EDT
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A former New York City medical examiner's worker has been sentenced to federal prison for helping embezzle millions of dollars intended to help identify victims of the World Trade Center attacks.

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A key panel in the House of Representatives is set to vote today on the September 11th Health and Compensation Act.

The Energy and Commerce Commmittee will take up the bill, which would provide health care and compensation for first responders with an illness that can be linked to the 9/11 attacks.

The Energy and Commerce Committee’s website, http://energycommerce.house.gov, will host a live webcast of the vote.

The bill would take steps to give those eligible for medical treatment the opportunity to do so without sharing the cost, re-open the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund for those who didn't file or become ill after the original deadline and would also establish an emergency council responsible for coordinating the care and compensation of victims.

The legsilation is named after James Zadroga, an NYPD detective and first responder who spent more than 400 hours working at the World Trade Center Site. He fell ill, and his death in 2006 was linked to his work there.

In the weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks, the EPA told people working and living near the 9/11 site that the air was safe to breathe.  

The city and federal government were slow to acknowledge the link between toxins at the Ground Zero site and illnesses suffered by first responders.  The bill's supporters are hoping that today's vote in Congress will reconcile that.

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