Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Health Panel Indicates Intention To Cover First Responders' Cancer Under Zadroga Act

This is a big deal to many emergency personnel and construction crews who worked in and around Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks and have since been diagnosed with cancer. The health care panel created by Congress to determine whether ailments should or shouldn't be covered under the James Zadroga Act voted to cover cancer under the Act's compensation provisions:
Hundreds of 9/11 first responders could receive compensation for their cancer treatment after an advisory panel voted Thursday that the disease should be covered under the Zadroga Act.

The 15-member panel, appointed by Congress to review research and decide which health conditions are linked to toxins at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 attacks, believes research clearly shows a link between 9/11 exposure and cancer, said panel member Catherine McVay Hughes.
"The committee agreed that cancer should be included [in the Zadroga Act]," said Hughes, who is also vice chairwoman of Community Board 1. "This is a major step in the right direction."

The panel will now draft a list of all the specific cancers they believe ought to be covered. Based on the existing research, the preliminary list discussed at Thursday's meeting would include blood cancers, lymphoma, leukemia, lung cancer, mesothelioma, multiple myeloma and others, Hughes said.

The panel, called the World Trade Center Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, will submit a final recommendation on cancer to the federal government within the next couple of weeks.

Dr. John Howard, the World Trade Center health program administrator for the federal government, will make the final decision by early April on which cancers, if any, should be covered, Hughes said.

If cancer is officially included in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, those who are sick with cancer and the families of those who have died from the disease will be able to apply to the $2.8 billion 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to cover their medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering.

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