Jon Stewart joined September 11th first responders on Capitol Hill today to urge members of Congress to support the reauthorization of the Zadroga Act. He joined John Feal – a 9/11 first responder and health advocate – as they presented more than 103,000 signatures amassed on a petition started by Feal supporting their cause.
“Why is it incumbent upon our first responders to have to consistently push to get the benefits that are coming to them for their acts of valor in a wartime situation,” asked Stewart in front of the Capitol this morning. “This is insanity.”
Such sentiment isn’t surprising from Stewart who is an outspoken proponent of the Act. He is often credited as one of the people that drove Congress to pass the bill in 2010 after he used The Daily Show to draw attention to the problems faced by survivors and first responders.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act helps pay for the health care of 9/11 survivors and first responders who developed diseases and illnesses following the attack. The Act is named after James Zadroga, a police officer who died in 2006 from respiratory disease sustained at Ground Zero.
There are two programs in the Zadroga Act that are set to expire soon. The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program helps pay for the ongoing treatment of those with chronic diseases or respiratory disorders; it expires at the end of September. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund compensate those who suffer economic losses as a result of injuries or illnesses sustained during or in the aftermath of 9/11; it expires in October 2016.
Feal and other 9/11 first responders are asking for the Zadroga Act to be extended indefinitely. He had this to say in front of the Capitol this morning:
Want to join those supporting 9/11 survivors and first responders as they fight for the Zadroga Act? You can add your signature to the more than 103,000 delivered this morning.
Here are some other petitions that might interest you: