Senate Passes $4.3 Billion Health-Care Bill for Sept. 11 First RespondersWould it be asking too much to know just what other changes were made?
By Jonathan D. Salant and James Rowley -- Dec 22, 2010
The U.S. Congress approved legislation today to help rescuers and clean-up crews suffering from illnesses linked to the wreckage caused by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.
The Senate passed the measure on a after Republicans ended their opposition to it when its costs were lowered and other changes were made...
...The House then approved the bill, 206-60. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature into law.Christmas f#cking miracle. The miracle is that these truculent RepubeLickems haven't been visited by a plague of angry cops and fire-fighters carrying guns and hatchets.
"The Christmas miracle we've been looking for has arrived," Senators and , New York Democrats, said in a statement after the Senate vote.
BURN IN HELL ASSHOLE COBURN!
The bill provides for $4.3 billion in additional aid over five years, with $1.5 billion for health-care benefits and $2.7 billion for compensation, said , an Oklahoma Republican who had been blocking the bill. The House initially approved more than $7 billion and the Senate was considering a $6.2 billion bill.
Coburn said the legislation would close the victims' compensation fund in 2016 instead of 2031 and would include workers' compensation payments in determining benefits that victims would receive for injuries or ailments related to the destruction of the World Trade Center site in New York.
"Every American recognizes the heroism of the 9/11 first responders, but it is not compassionate to help one group while robbing future generations of opportunity," Coburn, a physician, said in a statement.
Supporters sought to reopen the compensation fund created following the terrorist attacks. They argued that many of those affected by exposure to toxic dust didn't become ill until after the compensation program ended.
The bill establishes more permanent funding for government programs providing health care to those who responded to rescue and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center site and to others who were in the area on Sept. 11, 2001, turning them into benefits that don't have to be appropriated each year by Congress.
Since the attacks, lawmakers have provided almost $500 million for screening and treatment services to those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts, according to the nonpartisan .
The fund made 2,880 death and 2,680 injury awards totaling more than $7 billion, the said.
To pay for the health care costs, the bill includes a new 2 percent excise tax on goods or services purchased from federal contractors in countries such as , India and Thailand that are outside the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement.
And these countries are outside the WTO's agreement on Government Procurement precisely because "the big corporations" wish it to be that way ... so they can exploit the lower labor costs and kill the workds in these countries faster than they can in the USofA
FUCK THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TOO ... wait, better yet .. UNFUCK THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE so those blood-sucking vampiric squid will stop breeding.
Business groups, including the , objected to the tax, which was added to the bill this week to replace another tax proposal that business groups also opposed.
Cal Cohen, president of the Emergency Committee for American Trade, said he was "troubled" by the procurement tax because it "may be challenged" and is "inconsistent with our international obligations." The Washington-based group advocates policies aimed at making U.S. companies competitive in foreign markets.Come on bumblef#ck Cal Cohenn, WHOSE international obligations are you talking about, and just which ones of these international obligations?
Thank you Mayor Bloomberg. You get it! And this piece of legislation alone may be enough to derail the Sarah Palin for President campaign ... and get Bloomberg elected instead.
The legislation "affirms our nation's commitment to protecting those who protect us all," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. "The events of that day were an attack on America by a foreign enemy, and addressing its health impacts is a national duty."
The mayor, who is chairman of the foundation that will finance a Sept. 11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero, is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; James Rowley in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org.