Lawmakers push to extend Zadroga Act

The Zadroga Compensation Act provides coverage for those who were sickened while working on the piles of debris at Ground Zero.

The Zadroga Compensation Act provides coverage for those who were sickened while working on the piles of debris at Ground Zero. (9/3/15)

NEW YORK - Lawmakers are pushing to extend an act that provides health benefits for Sept. 11 first responders.

The Zadroga Compensation Act provides coverage for those who were sickened while working at Ground Zero. The act, which was signed into law in 2011, is set to expire next year.

Rescue worker Ken George says he went to Ground Zero after the attack every day for four months to help in the search-and-recovery effort. Now 14 years later, he says he suffers from numerous health conditions and PTSD. Without the Zadroga Act, he says he would have to pay more than $6,000 a month in medical expenses.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) joined first responders Thursday afternoon at the World Trade Center to call on Congress to maintain funding for the Zadroga Act. He says more than 70,000 responders and survivors, including George, are at risk of losing health care and support provided by the act.

King says a bill that he is co-sponsoring would make sure the victim compensation fund and the World Trade Center health program are made permanent.

Officials say they hope to have the bill presented to Congress within the next few months.

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