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Cancer Added to 9/11 Health Plan Coverage

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cancer-added-to-911-health-plan-coverageFifty Types of Cancer Added to the Victims of 9/11 Twin Towers Illnesses.

And all fifty types of cancer will be covered by the federal government, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety. The 9/11 health plan is geared especially toward the responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attack through what is called the World Trade Center (WTC) health program. For years, firefighters, construction workers, police officers and office cleaning personnel have lobbied to add cancer to the list of illnesses covered by the plan. And clearly, the lobbying paid off, as 50 types of cancers have been added to the list of illnesses post-911.

9/11 Health Plan Coverage

The WTC Health Program has favored this addition since June 2011, adding to the 4.3 billion 9/11 health program, which includes people that have developed 50 different types of cancer, due to the toxic dust that affected survivors and responders.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) acted after hearing testimony from union officials, doctors and advocates for the community recommended cancer be added to the list of illnesses. Before this new development, asthma, chronic sinus irritation and acid reflux disease were the illnesses covered. 

Cancer in 9/11 Victims

Although it is common to hear of first responders stricken with cancer, scientific evidence is sparse. Scientists say that there is not enough research to prove that the victims of 9/11 have a higher incidence of cancer. Still, the presence of carcinogens in the soot and ash led the advisory panel to invite the possibility that those most immersed in the catastrophe were at greater risk for cancer. The committee has been adamant about proving the carcinogens from 9/11 cause cancer but after research by doctors, they concluded that there is a possibility and that the latest ruling ensures that all who endured 9/11 get the right health care.

On the flip side, some have been concerned that adding cancer as an illness option could take away from the program’s funding. Our government capped the resources at 1.55 billion for health care treatment and 2.78 billion for compensation. That pool of money has not been increased and adding cancer just might threaten funding.

Nearly 60,000 survivors are enrolled in the 9/11 health program for victims, many of whom worked within the area or lived nearby and as many as 25,000 additional people could enroll before the program’s end.

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