By Jonathan Lemire
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
Wednesday, July 27th 2011
New York Daily News
Image: Retired Firefighter Kenneth Specht said the exclusion of cancer as a disease covered by the Zadroga health act was “absolutely unacceptable”. (Photo credit: Elisa Miller for News)
They sacrificed their bodies – and in some cases, their lives – for their noble
work at Ground Zero, and now they and their loved ones feel abandoned.
Scores of first responders believe they contracted cancer due to the time they
spent at the toxic World Trade Center site and are outraged the disease is being
excluded from the new James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
“Every time we bury a New York City firefighter: Cancer. Cancer. Cancer,”
said retired Firefighter Kenneth Specht, who is battling thyroid cancer.
“How can that not be included? It’s absolutely unacceptable.”
Specht, 43, retired in 2008 after 13 years with the FDNY, too sick to keep
working. He spent two months at Ground Zero after the terror attacks, desperately
searching for the remains of his fallen colleagues and unaware that he was breathing
in apparently dangerous chemicals.
“How can they not say, ‘You were in a bad position and we’re going to
try and rectify this?’” said Specht who, because of the cancer and gastroesophageal
reflux disease, is a prisoner in his Nassau County home.
“It’s not about money – we’re looking for some decency,” he said.
Margaret Stroehlein was driving from her Long Island home to… Continue reading
By ALEX KATZ
It took years of lobbying and partisan bickering, but the 9/11 Zadroga Act to help ailing Ground Zero responders finally took effect today.
The law provides $4.3 billion in guaranteed federal funding to cover health costs and financial compensation for emergency responders, recovery workers, volunteers, and residents who were affected by the attacks almost 10 years ago.
Advocates celebrated with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting against a backdrop of Star Spangled Banners at Mount Sinai’s 9/11 health clinic this morning.
National and city pols were also on hand, including Mayor Bloomberg, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Charlie Rangel, and Carolyn Maloney.
“This is an historic milestone, not only for the more than 36,000 Americans who lost their health as a result of 9/11 and are in the program, but also for our moral obligation to care for those who rise to the defense of our nation in a time of war,” Maloney said.
The Manhattan Democrat — who was introduced at the event as the “bulldog of the Upper East Side” — helped write the landmark legislation along with Nadler and Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), spearheading the fight for its approval in the House and ultimately the Senate.
The original bill’s price tag was scaled back from $7.4 billion as part of a compromise with conservatives in both parties, which allowed the legislation to pass through Congress and get President Obama’s signature in early January.
“As you all know, nothing… Continue reading
Shame on Representative Cliff Stearns and shame on each and every one of the representatives who voted to make compensation for 9/11 first responders reliant upon a check for “terrorist” activities. Shame is a concept that blankets American actions as it responded to that grave day. I won’t belabor the many instances where this nation either killed or maimed others either in retribution or in the pretense at keeping the rest of us “safe” but I will say that this last act of betrayal by elected officials places all of us in greater danger. Frankly, if we don’t counter this betrayal, we deserve what we get.
What has come over us? Have we completely lost the ability to function as compassionate adults in an imperfect world? Think for one minute about the ramifications of such an act:
On 9/11/2001 when many people fled the horror of the scene at Ground Zero, countless firefighters, police officers, and brave civilian volunteers rushed to the scene to help. I believe that my own daughter who was on that day four or five months pregnant was almost home free precisely because others helped her almost, almost to safety. How many others walked away because they were provided help? We can only guess at the numbers. How many families of first responders are like my own — ten years out still suffering the effects… Continue reading
WASHINGTON – The ill and dying Americans who answered the call after 9/11 received a “Christmas Miracle” on Wednesday – help is finally on the way.
More than nine years after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, the Senate voted unanimously to pass the $4.3 billion James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
The House quickly gave the measure its final stamp of approval. President Obama will sign the bill law soon.
The bill provides medical care and financial relief to tens of thousands of responders.
Many Capitol Hill insiders never believed the measure would pass, and some Republicans came within hours of killing it.
But a dramatic night of negotiations by New York lawmakers and the bill’s foes Tuesday night and into early Wednesday won an eleventh-hour compromise.
“It’s a good Christmas present for everybody,” said Joseph Zadroga, the father of NYPD Detective James Zadroga who died from his ruined lungs and became the face of the legislation.
Jennifer McNamara, whose firefighter husband, John, died of cancer blamed on 9/11, wept when she heard the news. She recalled how much her husband wanted his government to act for people who sacrificed. “Working for this day was such a part of my husband’s existence, and mine,” an emotional McNamara said.
“This is something that will help take care of people, and that’s something John would be proud of,” she said. “My Christmas… Continue reading
By David Edwards
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
The Senate passed a bill by unanimous consent Wednesday that will provide health care benefits to first responders and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Original report follows…
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) earned himself a visit from some 9/11 first responders after he threatened to block a bill that would provide them health benefits.
A group of former Ground Zero workers visited the senator’s office Tuesday to give him a piece of their mind but Coburn refused the meeting.
“Mr. Coburn should be ashamed of himself,” John Feal, the leader of the group, told Think Progress. “Because I think before he was a senator he was a doctor and he took an oath to help people that are sick. He’s going against his oath as a doctor. He can vote any way he wants as a senator, but as a doctor, he just embarrassed the medical profession.”
“What about going office to office? Have their staff and the senators been very receptive to the group?” Think Progress asked.
“Once in a while we’ll run into some resistance and some arrogance and some rude people. Listen, we busted our asses since 9/11. We’ve fought and advocated for ourselves so others wouldn’t. So to be insulted by the staff of the United States Senate and Congress — most of them were 12 years old when 9/11 happened — doesn’t bother me,” Feal said.
All but one of the 42 Republican senators… Continue reading
by Scott Ford
September 30, 2010
The following names are the people in Congress that voted AGAINST
helping the 9/11 1st Responders with health care. There are about 900 dead responders
since the attacks 9 years ago, and tens of thousands more sick and dying. When
everybody was running away from Ground Zero, these people were running in to
save as many people as they can. The people on this list feel that we should
not help them. Please adjust your voter ballots accordingly in November.
No Votes (160)
Member, Party, District
Robert B. Aderholt, R, AL-4
Todd Akin, R, MO-2
Rodney Alexander, R, LA-5
Steve Austria, R, OH-7
Michele Bachmann, R, MN-6
Spencer Bachus, R, AL-6
J. Gresham Barrett, R, SC-3
Roscoe G. Bartlett, R, MD-6
Joe L. Barton, R, TX-6
Marion Berry, D, AR-1
Judy Biggert, R, IL-13
Brian P. Bilbray, R, CA-50
Gus Bilirakis, R, FL-9
Rob Bishop, R, UT-1
Marsha Blackburn, R, TN-7
John A. Boehner, R, OH-8
Jo Bonner, R, AL-1
Mary Bono Mack, R, CA-45
John Boozman, R, AR-3
Charles Boustany Jr., R, LA-7
Kevin Brady, R, TX-8
Bobby Bright, D, AL-2
Paul Broun, R, GA-10
Henry E. Brown Jr., R, SC-1
Ginny Brown-Waite, R, FL-5
Vern Buchanan, R, FL-13
Michael C. Burgess, R, TX-26
Dan Burton, R, IN-5
Steve Buyer, R, IN-4
Ken Calvert, R, CA-44
Dave Camp, R, MI-4
John Campbell, R, CA-48
Eric Cantor, R, VA-7
Shelley Moore Capito, R, WV-2
John Carter, R, TX-31
Bill Cassidy, R, LA-6
Jason Chaffetz, R, UT-3
Howard Coble, R, NC-6
Mike Coffman, R, CO-6
9/11 Health and Compensation Bill Passes House
September 29, 2010 — Legislation to establish health treatment and monitoring
programs for World Trade Center responders was overwhelmingly approved by a
bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives.
H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, was approved
by a vote of 268-160. The vote to pass the bill followed an attempt by Representative
Christopher Lee (R-NY) and House Republican Leadership to amend H.R. 847 by
adding unrelated legislation to repeal a portion of the health care reform law
and reform the medical malpractice system. The motion failed by a vote of 185-244.
Had the motion succeeded, it would have effectively killed the bill.
“I am pleased that the 9/11 Act passed the House by an overwhelming and bipartisan
majority,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “World Trade Center
responders know they are finally one step closer to receiving the care and benefits
they need and deserve.”
The September 29 vote follows a previous attempt to pass H.R. 847 in the House
earlier this year under rules requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. That
attempt fell 21 votes short of a two-thirds majority.
Following that setback, the IAFF lobbied extensively to bring the bill back
up under regular order, supplementing the efforts of New York Local 94 and Local
“Our two New York City affiliates, their leadership and their members lobbied
tirelessly to move the 9/11 Act forward,” says Schaitberger. “Today’s vote is… Continue reading
September 21, 2010
By John Feal
Dear Friends, Supporters and Fellow First Responders:
As most of you are aware, the past twenty-four hours have been extremely chaotic
in regards to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. I, along with
fellow FealGood Foundation board members, have worked with various union leaders
to keep the pressure on our elected officials. As of approximately 5:30 today
our bill was moved into the “Rules Committee” of the United States
House of Representatives and prepared for full House vote. While a modest victory,
this should be considered a step forward to our ultimate goal. However, to our
great displeasure, a date for such a vote has not yet been announced. This is
unacceptable and over the next twenty-four hours we will continue to place additional
pressure on leadership to give us the date we have waited nine years for.
Make no mistake, all involved in this struggle consider it an insult of the
highest degree that we are forced to continue to lobby House leaders to merely
place this bill on calendar. Despite this, we have been advised that the bill
will be given a date for vote tomorrow, September 22, 2010. While promises to
this fragile community have been made and broken so many times that I do not
expect you to believe this one, we must respect the leadership our New York
Congressional Delegation has provided and rely on them to ensure that this promise
is kept. Tomorrow, the… Continue reading
By Meghan Neal
Downtown Express – Volume 23, Number 3 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 28 – June 3, 2010
U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney and Jerry Nadler paid a visit to ground zero on Sunday to highlight a 9/11 health care bill that has been dragging through Congress for nearly nine years. The bill cleared a huge hurdle on Tuesday when it passed its final committee vote, sending it to the house floor.
“It’s a difficult bill, a complicated bill, a costly bill,” said Maloney. The legislation would provide $11 billion in federal funds toward health care and compensation for first responders and survivors who are sick as a result of toxins left in the air after the 9/11 attacks.
Maloney and Nadler were joined by a group of the bill’s supporters: police, firefighters, 9/11 first responders currently suffering from health problems, members of the New York delegation and Lower Manhattan residents.
“Every day another floor, another piece of steel goes into reconstructing ground zero, and yet we still haven’t found a way to provide health care,” Rep. Anthony Weiner said at the event. “We’ve waited far, far too long.”
Now the bill is one step closer to becoming law. Having passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee Tuesday, it will be sent to the floor of congress for a vote,… Continue reading
by Coleen Rowley, Former FBI Special Agent March 10, 2010
In a sad commentary on the currently disintegrating state of “main stream media”, I found myself ambushed on Saturday, March 6th, just ten minutes after I arrived at a conference outside Philadelphia on “9-11, the Wars and Our Broken Constitution”.
When young, smiling female producer Katie Hinman identified herself as being with ABC and asked for an interview, I had only just arrived at the conference. So although I was a little surprised that the Nightline TV crew was there, I immediately consented to an interview before anyone had a chance to warn me that the TV show was trying to concoct a connection between the conference and the mentally ill young man who had been killed a few days before while shooting at Pentagon guards.
From the very first question Mr. Bury launched, it was clear, however, that he was not interested in the truth, and that I would not fare any better than someone who consents to go on Bill O’Reilly’s or Glenn Beck’s show.
In the interest of journalistic ethics, let me list a few of the departures from how a decent, ethical, objective journalist would have covered the story of this conference:
1) Chris Bury and his news crew left right after interviewing me. They apparently only spent a couple hours at the conference that morning (before I arrived) and did… Continue reading
Bring Bill HR 847: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to the floor of Congress for a Vote Now
To: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms. Nancy Pelosi & All Congressional Representatives
We the undersigned urge Speaker of the House, Ms. Nancy Pelosi, to immediately commit to a firm date for bill HR 847: the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009 to be on the floor of the House of Representatives, for a vote.
Having lost over eight hundred September 11th first responders since that horrific day, we must act now as many, many more of our Nation’s Heroes are sick and dying due to the time they spent at the World Trade Center site.
We would like to to stress how important the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009 is to us, our community and America. It is time to get this bill to the House floor and passed so that those who put America first on September 11, 2001 are taken properly taken care of, now.
We want HR 847 passed by Thanksgiving so that we, as a country, can properly thank the thousands who have given so much of themselves, so selflessly. We have lost over eight hundred September 11th first responders since that horrific day, we MUST act now as many, many more of these men and women are sick and dying due to the time they spent at Ground Zero.
By Michael Mcauliff
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
Friday, September 11th 2009, 3:15 PM
[See also, at NY Daily News: Lest
we Forget: Victims of 9/11" On the anniversary of Sept. 11, a look
back at those who were lost.]
A year ago, members of the Fealgood Foundation delivered that plea to the future President and other lawmakers in a DVD telling the tale of four ailing heroes.
They wanted to show Congress why it must pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, an $8.4 billion bill to help ailing Sept. 11 workers.
But the act has languished. What the responders have gotten are thank you’s, not just from the White House, but from members of Congress who also got copies of “Save the Brave.”
“One congressman’s office sent it back with a letter that said we’re sorry, we don’t accept gifts,” said John Feal, who lost half his foot at Ground Zero.
Feal got the note from the White House saying “Thank you for your kind gift” last week.
Quibell’s widow, Theresa, said the… Continue reading
GILLIBRAND, SCHUMER, LAUTENBERG, MENENDEZ TO INTRODUCE JAMES ZADROGA 9/11 HEALTH
AND COMPENSATION ACT IN THE U.S. SENATE
First Time Comprehensive 9/11 Health Legislation Will Be Introduced
Mayor Bloomberg and Representatives Maloney, Nadler, King, and McMahon to Join
Gillibrand to Help Provide Treatment for Community Members, First Responders
Suffering From 9/11-Related Health Effects
Joseph Zadroga, Fire Lt. Marty Fullam, Others Affected by Rescue and Clean-Up
Efforts to Tell Their Stories
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will be joined by
Senators Charles E. Schumer, Frank R. Lautenberg, and Robert Menendez and Representatives
Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, Peter King and Michael McMahon, along with
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 9/11 first responders, construction
workers, clean-up workers and community members who have suffered from the long
term health effects of working at Ground Zero to introduce the James Zadroga
9/11 Health and Compensation Act — the first comprehensive 9/11 health
legislation to ever be introduced in the U.S. Senate.
Thousands were lost on the morning of September 11, 2001, but today, thousands
more — including first responders, area residents, workers, students and
others — are sick and getting sicker from exposure to toxins released
from the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers.
The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act would ensure proper monitoring and treatment
for the innocent men, women and children that face life-threatening health effects
due to the toxins released at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
WHO: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Senator Charles E.…
by Jon Gold
April 1, 2009
Yesterday, John Feal, along with several other 9/11 First Responders went down to Washington D.C. to attend the hearing on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Act. From what I understand, he was singled out by the Congressmen, and applauded for his efforts. I want to say congratulations John. Just to give people an idea of how much you’ve fought for the responders, here’s a little tribute to you (that barely covers your fight). Thank you for doing the right thing. I am very proud to say that you are my friend.
The EPA is a “bunch of brainiacs and bookworms who just look at numbers but don’t look at people’s pain,” said John Feal, a construction worker who lost half a foot in an accident while working in “the pit” at Ground Zero. “The people [downtown] and in Brooklyn pay taxes and deserve to know their tax money is going to protect their health.”
John Feal – [NYMetro, 12/13/2005]
John Feal, Valenti’s friend and the founder of the Feal Good Foundation, an advocacy group for 9/11 first responders suffering from ground zero-related illnesses, called the workers’ compensation ruling encouraging, but added that more must be done to help those who have gotten sick. “Individually, that’s great,” said Feal, a demolition supervisor who lost part of his foot when it was crushed by an eight-ton beam during the recovery effort at ground zero. “What stinks is that so many… Continue reading
On February 11, 2009, 911truth.org posted notice "9/11 Health Bill Reintroduced
in Congress–CALL NOW," including this intro:
Rep. Maloney has posted a very useful link at her House website: World
Trade Center Health Registry–Number of Registrants by State and Congressional
District based on June 2007 current addresses. When you call your Representative
to ask him/her to cosponsor H.R. 847, you might mention the number of first
responders from your district, and your state, listed on the Health Registry.
All 50 states are included. Maloney states, "…at least 10,000 people
came from around the country to help in the aftermath of the attacks."
Clearly, this is a national issue and we challenge ANY Representative to give
a valid reason why s/he should not support a bill that provides needed care,
especially for their own constituents!
TODAY, we appeal to you to do this again, now. FealGood Foundation
members and supporters will travel to Washington DC tomorrow to attend a markup
hearing on this bill, and your support will make a huge difference in the response
they get. At this point, the number of Cosponsors of HR847 has grown to 55 (list of cosponsors can be found at http://thomas.gov, enter HR 847 in search bar and click the ‘bill number’ button, then search.); yet the health registry includes registrants from all 50 states.
We need to each make our own Rep aware of this information with just a quick
phone call — "Rep. ____, this is not… Continue reading
David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Thursday February 5, 2009
When the New York Times explored the political beliefs of Daniel Sunjata, an actor on the FX network’s show “Rescue Me,” it was under the banner of a “sinister theory.”
The “sinister theory” that a group of neoconservative politicians may have colluded to allow, or bring about, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
On Thursday’s Fox and Friends, Greg Gutfield, provocative host of Fox’s late night program Red Eye, called individuals like Sunjata, who question the events of 9/11, “mentally ill.”
“[Sunjata] believe that 9/11 was a preemptive strike by a neoconservative government,” said Gutfield. “I think that means Bush. What angers me about this is people are treating it with respect.”
The 9/11 issues are major plot lines in the first 10 episodes of Rescue Me season 5, set to air in April.
“The New York Times ran a piece about it,” said Gutfield. “They interviewed the producer — the producer described the actor, the actor believes this stuff, that the actor is well-read, very passionate about it.
“They say this sort of thing about conspiratorialists all the time, but they never say these people are idiots, they’re mentally ill, they shouldn’t be treated with respect.
“It’s an insult to people that were victims of 9/11 and their families. It’s an insult to firefighters. I am surprised they are doing this.”
Of course, Gutfield, as a professional media water and commentator, shouldn’t be surprised at all.… Continue reading
Please contact your Representative immediately – Please note that this action has an associated deadline of Noon EST on Wednesday .
Please also help by forwarding this action alert everywhere, quickly.
Reps. Maloney, Nadler, King, and McMahon will likely introduce the “9/11 Health and Compensation Act” tomorrow afternoon. Below is a letter circulated by Rep. Maloney today in her effort to get other members of the House to co-sponsor this bill. This bill was introduced as HR 7174 in the last session of Congress, often referred to as “the Zadroga bill” after James Zadroga, a first responder who died as a result of his service.)
Please call your Representative, and tell them that you support this bill and want him/her to co-sponsor. If they are not familiar with the bill, or the need for it, Rep. Maloney has valuable information available at her website, http://maloney.house.gov .
You can find contact info for your Representative here . We encourage you to leave a message at their DC and local office tonight, send an email now, and follow up with a call to their offices in the morning, in order to get a response.
If it would be helpful, you might wish to mention to your Rep that President Obama has said he backs this bill .
Today Rep. Maloney sent this letter to all the Representatives asking for cosponsorship:
February 3, 2009
Remember the Heroes of 9/11 Be an original cosponsor of the 9/11 Health and Compensation… Continue reading
WeAreChange would like to recognize the leadership of George Martin, NFL star and SuperBowl Champion with the NY Giants in 1987. George raised over two million dollars for the first responders of 9/11, raising money and awareness by walking all the way across the country, from New York to California. See http://www.ajourneyfor911.info
WeAreChange also caught up with some of the SuperBowl Champs from 2008. On the video is the messages they had for the first responders. As we watch another SuperBowl pass let’s remember who the real heroes in our country are, and how badly they’re in need.
Support H.R. 7174 (James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act)
Visit www.fealgoodfoundation.com for updates on this bill as it’s introduced into the current Congress (with a new bill number). [911Truth.org will also post this information as soon as we learn details.]