12.22.10

Enzi Reaches Bipartisan Agreement on 9/11 Health Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced an agreement on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. His decision to support the bill comes after negotiations with Senator Coburn, Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand. The new version of the bill will provide 9/11 first responders with the health care they deserve.

“From the beginning, I have been committed to provide care to the emergency workers who served their country as a result of September 11, 2001. The new version of this bill ensures funds will be spent on health care for victims, reduces the cost to taxpayers, and increases the accountability and transparency of existing programs.” said Senator Enzi.

The agreement reduces the overall cost of the bill, with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office providing a cost score of $4.2 billion, a reduction from the original House bill’s $11.75 billion price tag. Health care providers will be required to submit claims data to the federal government to create transparency and accountability.  Enzi has raised concerns in the past about the failure of the program to document expenditures. The new changes will address these concerns. Finally, the compromise places restrictions on spending to ensure that money is used to provide health care, rather than build new medical facilities.

In the next Congress, Enzi will work in his position as Ranking Member of the HELP Committee to ensure there is proper oversight of this program.

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