More than nine years after the 9/11 attacks, President Barack Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act into law on Sunday, January 2 from Hawaii.
“We will never forget the selfless courage demonstrated by the firefighters, police officers and first responders who risked their lives to save others,” Obama said in a statement. “I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks.”
The new legislation was created to provide health coverage to workers who were at Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks and other people who are now suffering from health issues as a result of breathing in the toxic dust from the collapsed World Trade Center buildings.
The original bill was knocked down in the Senate but was resurrected in a “Christmas miracle.” In order to win Republican support and pass in the Senate, the 10-year, $7.4 billion treatment and compensation package was trimmed down to 5 years at $4.3 billion.