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NY congressional leaders push bill to offer medical services to 9/11 survivors

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Charles Dharapak
Associated Press

Several members of the New York Congressional delegation have sponsored a bill that would ensure all who became injured or fell ill as a result of the 9/11 attacks receive medical care.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand joined 9/11 first responders, survivors and advocates to call on Congress to help save lives 20 years later.

“Three quarters of the firefighters who served on 9/11 are now ill, three quarters of the firefighters,” Gillibrand said.

Mariama James, a 9/11 survivor who lived near the towers, said she lost her father to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and her mother is a stage-four colon cancer survivor. James and her children also have respiratory illnesses.

"Those buildings fell in our apartments. And that's how many of us were exposed," James said.

The legislation addresses a funding shortfall in the World Trade Center Health Program. Medical inflation and the high cost of complex cancer treatment some survivors need created a funding gap.

It would also fund the research of the toxic exposures and the impact of psychological trauma to more than 35,000 children, who resided or attended school near ground zero following the attack.