Monday, January 3, 2011

Obama Signs 9/11 Health Bill Into Law


U.S. President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that provides health care and compensation to the first responders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The law, passed by both houses of the Congress late last month, will provide $4.3 billion for the care and compensation of emergency workers who became sick from breathing toxic dust during the terrorist attacks of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on September 11, 2001.

Obama, who was on a vacation with family in Hawaii, said on Sunday that he was honored to sign the bill.

Describing the bill a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of the 9/11 attacks, the President praised the heroism of the first responders.

Obama expressed the American people's gratitude to the selfless courage shown by the firefighters, police officers and others who rushed into the smoldering ruins of the two strategic locations bombed by al Qaeda terrorists.

Thousands of those who responded to the contingency are reportedly suffering from cancer and other illnesses due to inhaling the toxic dust, gas, and other substances.

The compensation that the law ensures is significantly less than the originally proposed amount of $7.4 billion, and the $6.2 billion package that was pushed later.

Opposition to a $6.2 billion measure could have prevented the compensation package from passing before the end of the lame duck session of Congress.

Certain provisions were removed from the original bill in order to prevent fraud in the use of the funds.

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