House panel OKs bill to help sick 9/11 responders

(AP) - A House panel has approved a $5.1 billionprogram to provide health care for more of the 9/11 firstresponders and others sickened by toxins emanating from the ruinsof the World Trade Center.

The Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-12 for the billTuesday.

New York City would contribute 10 percent of the cost of theprogram, which would run for 10 years. It would expand current city9/11 health programs to cover an additional 25,000 responders and25,000 survivors.

The legislation, which now moves to the full House, is named forJames Zadroga, a New York City Police Department detective who diedat age 34 in 2006 from respiratory disease contracted during rescueoperations at ground zero.

The measure, sponsored by New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney,also reopens the federal victim compensation fund that closed atthe end of 2003.

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