Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Not Enough Money to Treat 9/11 Workers

Article in the New York Times -- Money to Treat 9/11 Workers Will Run Out, Officials Say, by Sewell Chan:

The roughly $40 million that was set aside by the federal government to treat rescue workers, volunteers and firefighters who became ill after helping with the 9/11 cleanup and recovery will run out in months, physicians and federal officials said yesterday.

Members of Congress from New York and New Jersey secured $75 million a year ago to pay for health care expenses — including $40 million for treatments like drugs and medical procedures — for about 32,000 workers who reported ailments after working at ground zero. Distribution of the treatment money did not begin in earnest until October.

Officials at the two major monitoring and treatment programs, one run by Mount Sinai Medical Center and the other by the Fire Department, said yesterday that at the current spending rate, the treatment money would run out by spring or summer. They told top federal health officials that unless more financing was provided, they would be forced to notify thousands of patients that their treatment could soon end.



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